VIO News Blog

July 8, 2008

Chavez’s Calls for Peace in Colombia Ignored

Filed under: Daily News Roundup — VenWorld @ 10:07 am
Tags: , , , , ,

News continues on the recent mock humanitarian rescue of 15 FARC captives by the Colombian military. The Washington Post reports that President Chavez has “distanced” himself from the FARC ahead of a meeting with Colombia’s President Uribe, making the problematic claim that the Venezuelan leader backed the rebels. An expert says that U.S. and Colombian officials have “suspected and alleged” that Chavez had ties to the FARC over the course of decades. However, the allegations remain unproven.

This fact is raised in a column in the Independent, which points out that Ingrid Betancourt (pictured at right) was quick to thank President Chavez upon her rescue. According to the piece, lies about Venezuela are common in the English-language press due to the hotly disputed commodity of oil. Despite what the papers print, “Far from fueling the guerrillas, Chavez has repeatedly pleaded with the FARC to disarm.” Meanwhile, a Miami Herald op-ed blatantly ignores this fact and suggests boycotting Venezuelan crude.

In related news, Forbes reports that the Colombian government — buoyed by billions in U.S. military aid — may have paid up to $20 million for its “rescue” of 15 FARC hostages. This was revealed on Swiss radio, which reported that the captives “were in reality ransomed for a high price, and the whole operation afterwards was a set-up.” U.S. Ambassador Brownfield has said that the U.S. lent “technical support” to the operation. Green Left Weekly writes that the victory against the FARC “will be used by the Colombian regime headed by President Alvaro Uribe to strengthen its policies of using military might.”

In other news, the AP reports that anti-Chavez Bishop is speaking out against constitutional laws that prevent individuals undergoing corruption investigations from running for political office. A so-called “blacklist” of 400 candidates, mostly from the opposition, is a hot topic of public debate ahead of local elections in November.

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