Tags: Venezuela | rebels | bankroll | US

Venezuela Bankrolling Colombian Rebels, US General Says

Wednesday, 28 Apr 2010 09:45 PM


WASHINGTON - The government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez maintains links to Colombia's FARC guerrillas, providing them with financial and logistics support, a top US general said Wednesday.

General Douglas Fraser, the head of the Miami-based US Southern Command, said the relationship between the Chavez government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has been documented over a period of years.

"It's financial support, it's enabling their capacity from a logistics standpoint," Fraser said at a news conference here. "My understanding is that that continues."

But the general said he had no information that elements of FARC, Colombia's biggest leftist guerrilla group, were operating inside Venezuela.

Fraser's statements contradicted his assertion to US lawmakers March 11 that he had no evidence of links between the Venezuelan government and the FARC.

Those comments came after a Spanish judge alleged Venezuelan "governmental support" for plots by FARC and the Basque separatist group ETA to kill Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe and other Colombian politicians in Spain.

In Wednesday's comments, Fraser reiterated that Iran has growing diplomatic and economic ties with Venezuela, but no military presence there.

Still, he said he was concerned about Iran's longstanding relations with Hamas and Hezbollah and "the potential that that relationship can cause us to have a terrorist group that could enter into the Latin American region."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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