Chavez tried to get arms from Belarus for FARC
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez allegedly tried to arm Colombian rebels with help from Belarus, the El Pais newspaper reported Saturday, citing documents from the computer of a slain rebel leader.The story adds more detail to the Chavez FARC connection. It also mentions the recent Wall Street Journal article on the connection which included a FARC denial that it published on a Venezuelan government web site, which lessens the credibility of the denial. What is interesting about these attempts is they show Chavez intent, while events on the demonstrate FARC's continued deterioration. The more Venezuela and Ecuador try to help the narco terrorist, the more they continue to fail. That is also a product of an aggressive counterinsurgency operation that has been greatly aided by the US. It is one of the many lightly touted successes of President Bush's war efforts against terrorist.
The Spanish daily quoted a February 8 e-mail from Ivan Marquez, leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), saying Chavez had considered with Belarussian authorities the possibility of providing weapons to FARC.
The e-mail was alleged to have been found in the seized computer of FARC second-in-command Raul Reyes, who was killed in March, El Pais said.
The partially coded message mentioned someone identified only as "friend of Belarus," who El Pais identified as Victor Sheiman, secretary of the Belarus Security Council and a close associate of Alexander Lukashenko, the hardline president of the former Soviet republic.
El Pais added that other possible arms sources for FARC, particularly ground-to-air missiles, were mentioned in computer messages, including contacts with "Australian traffickers".
The left-of-centre newspaper reported last December that Venezuela had become a safe haven for FARC, harbouring several rebel camps on its territory. Venezuela has denied this.