Colombia provides details on narco terrorist in Venezuela
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez sputtered rage and fury Sunday after Colombia charged him with harboring terrorists. It was about par for a bully whose nation is going downhill fast.Those men in Venezuela are needed for the transit of drugs to Africa on flights out of Venezuela. From their al Qaeda affiliates transport the drugs to Europe. This would not be possible without the active assistance of the Venezuelan government. Some European country should prosecute Chavez and his cronies for transporting the narcotics intended for use in their country.
It didn't get much play in the media, but on Friday Colombia's government laid out scads of evidence — photographs, videos, satellite GPS coordinates and computer e-mails — to the Organization of American States showing why it's so tough to fight terrorists.
As the world does nothing, Venezuela aids the Colombian narcoterrorists known as FARC, which is an act of war. In effect, Chavez looks the other way as some 1,500 drug-dealing FARC guerrillas use Venezuela as a safe haven. Colombia wants it stopped.
These facts have been known for years, so it's likely that, as President Alvaro Uribe prepares to leave office, he wants this for the record — perhaps to build an international court case. But Uribe also may be trying to warn the world that narcoterror could spill over regional borders.
There are 80 easily verifiable terrorist camps inside Venezuela, which the OAS declined to investigate. But besides harboring terrorists and five top FARC leaders, there's a disturbing sense that FARC has penetrated Venezuela's government at the highest levels — which makes Mexico's vicious war against drug lords look tame by comparison.
Three Venezuelan officials designated by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2008 as low-level kingpins for helping FARC have achieved high positions in Chavez's regime.
General Henry Rangel Silva was promoted to Strategic Operational Commander of the Bolivarian Armed Forces, according to the reliable blog site Caracas Gringo, a command second only to Chavez.
Former Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez-Chacin, whose FARC ties date to the 1980s, claims to be dying of cancer. But his top lieutenant, Col. Miguel Rodriguez Torres, now heads Sebin, Chavez's new spy service. Meanwhile, the third of the narco-triumvirate, Gen. Hugo Carvajal, remains head of Venezuelan military intelligence.
With a crew like that, it's no surprise that Venezuela permits 80 FARC camps inside its own borders.
But FARC's presence is even more widespread in Venezuela than that. For instance, FARC controls 60% of Colombia's cocaine trade, and U.S. officials say that drug flights out of Venezuela have never been higher.