Following last week’s Colombia military rescue of hostages held by FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), Venezuela strongman Hugo Chavez and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe agreed to meet this Friday in Caracas. Earlier this year at a presidential summit in Brazil Chavez told Uribe: “We haven’t been giving money to the FARC.”
But a laptop found by the Colombian military earlier this year, whose contents have been confirmed authentic by Interpol, suggests otherwise.The documents showed:
- Venezuela appears to be making concrete offers to help arm the rebels, possibly with rocket-propelled grenades and ground-to-air missiles.
- According to one document, Venezuela’s interior minister, Ramón Rodríguez Chacin, last November asked the FARC to train Venezuela’s military in nuts-and-bolts guerrilla tactics — including “operational tactics, explosives, … jungle camps, ambushes, logistics, mobility” — so that soldiers would be prepared to fight a guerrilla war if the U.S. were to invade Venezuela.
- The documents suggest Chavez is personally involved in helping the guerrillas. In a September 2007 message to the FARC’s ruling body, a commander wrote: “Chavez is studying our documents and has said that just like Fidel [Castro] has decided to delegate his other responsibilities to concentrate on the Venezuelan situation, he [Chavez] is ready to do the same to dedicate more time to Colombia.”