Resurrecting the Bogus FARC-EP Files/Venezuela Connection - by Stephen Lendman
The story surfaced in March 2008 after Colombia's military, with US Special Forces help, attacked a FARC-EP rebel camp in Ecuador. Over 20 people were killed, including 16 or more FARC-EP members while they slept. Key among them was Paul Reyes, the FARC-EP's second-in-command, their peace negotiator, public voice, and lead figure in the Chavez-led hostage negotiations with Colombia at the time.
Tensions rose when Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon said three laptops and other materials were found at the FARC-EP camp. Containing provocative evidence, he said, it showed a Chavez/Ecuadorean President Raphael Correa link to FARC-EP rebels, including Venezuela providing them weapons, munitions, and about $300 million.
Moreover, they were accused of acquiring 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of uranium, allegedly for a radioactive dirty bomb, as well as selling 700 kilograms of cocaine for about $1.5 million.
The story, in fact, lacked credibility, but major media reports featured it, grabbing any chance they can to bash Chavez. For example, on March 30, 2008, New York Times writer Simon Romero headlined, "Files Suggest Venezuela Bid to Aid Colombian Rebels," saying:
Captured computer files "appear to tie Venezuela's government to efforts to secure arms for Colombia's largest insurgency....which the United States says is a terrorist group...."
Established in 1964, it's the "longest standing, largest peasant-based guerrilla movement in the world," struggling valiantly to liberate Colombia from decades of repressive rule, according to noted Latin American expert James Petras.
Nonetheless, a follow-up May 16, 2008 Romero article headlined, "Files Tying Venezuela to Rebels Not Altered, Report Says," claiming: