View Full Version : $20 Million to Musa....$300 Million to Columbian Rebels....

Dream Babes
03-04-2008, 05:15 PM
BOGOTA, Colombia - Colombia’s police chief on Monday said documents found on a slain rebel’s laptop computer suggest Venezuela recently paid $300 million to Colombia’s largest guerrilla group, perhaps in exchange for the release of six hostages.

Other documents show the rebels had appeared interested in buying uranium, Gen. Oscar Naranjo said at an explosive news conference where he lashed out at Venezuela and Ecuador for the financial and political support they have provided to Colombia’s leftist rebels.

“When they mention negotiations for 50 kilos of uranium this means that the FARC are taking big steps in the world of terrorism to become a global aggressor. We’re not talking of domestic guerrilla but transnational terrorism,” said Naranjo, without giving more details.

Naranjo said the $300 million was mentioned in a Feb. 14 message in the laptop of Raul Reyes, who was killed Saturday in a Colombian military attack just across the border at a rebel camp in Ecuador. Colombia was investigating to determine if the money was intended as payment for Chavez brokering the rebels’ recent release of hostages, he said.

Naranjo said other documents suggest Ecuador’s president is deepening relations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia as well — a claim Ecuador denied — and that Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda, the top FARC leader, is closely allied with the Venezuelan government.

“This implies more than cozying up, but an armed alliance between the FARC and the Venezuelan government,” he said.

Did Chavez get FARC money earlier?
Another document in Reyes’ laptop suggests that rebels have had financial ties with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez since 1992. At the time, Chavez was jailed for leading a coup attempt, and was plotting the comeback that eventually led to his election as president in 1998.

“A note recovered from Raul Reyes speaks of how grateful Chavez was for the 100 million pesos (about $150,000 at the time) ... delivered to Chavez when he was in prison,” Naranjo said.

The Colombian commando raid that killed Reyes and 16 other rebels has infuriated Chavez and his ally, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa. Chavez has called Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe a “mob boss” and a “liar.” Correa has mobilized thousands of Ecuadorean troops toward the border.

“We are accustomed to the lies of the Colombian government,” Venezuelan Vice President Ramon Carrizalez said, dismissing the charges of financing for the rebels. “Whatever they say has no importance. They can invent anything now to try to get out of that violation of Ecuadorean territory that they committed.”

Chavez on Sunday promised Venezuela would respond militarily if Colombia violates its border, where he ordered tanks as well as thousands of troops. He also ordered closed Venezuela’s embassy in Bogota.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he deployed troops while also withdrawing his ambassador from Bogota and expelling Colombia’s top diplomat.

Correa said Colombia deliberately carried out the strike beyond its borders, flying deep into Ecuador to bomb the rebel camp. He said the rebels were “bombed and massacred as they slept, using precision technology.”

Colombian officials have long complained rebels are allowed to take refuge across its borders in both Ecuador and Venezuela.

Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Monday that his government isn’t moving any troops and “we have the situation under control.”

A U.S. State Department spokesman, Tom Casey, said the United States supports Colombia’s right to defend itself against the FARC and called for dialogue between Colombia and Ecuador.

“From our perspective this is an issue between Colombia and Ecuador,” he said. “I’m not sure what this has to do with Venezuela.”

AP 3:25 p.m. CT, Mon., March. 3, 2008