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An overview on the relationship of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, terrorism and its international supporters

By Aleksander Boyd, Director of Pro Venezuela Organization

London 28.12.04 | The purpose of this paper is twofold. Firstly to analyse the existing relationship between Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and to show the ideological, political, financial and personal evidence that demonstrates, beyond reasonable doubt, that indeed Chavez’ revolution is modelled on a Castroite method of governance, based on brutal repression of human rights as established in the International Human Right Declaration. Secondly to explore into the international support base of the duality Chavez-Castro.

First Part

Chavez, Castro et al on the press

Carlos the Jackal, the world's most famous imprisoned terrorist, has become an unlikely human rights cause in his native Venezuela… it was revealed that Venezuela's recently elected president, Hugo Chavez, had written him a letter of solidarity, addressing him as 'distinguished compatriot". Compatriots call for Jackal's freedom | Alex Bellos in Caracas, Guardian Foreign Pages; Pg. 12. May 31, 1999. The Guardian (London)

"We have a commitment to this citizen especially to guarantee that his human rights are respected" Hugo Chavez on Carlos “The Jackal” as cited by Richard Gott Pg. 17 of the Guardian October 22, 2001

VENEZUELA'S president Hugo Chavez arrived in Iraq for the first face-to-face meeting of a head of state with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein since the 1991 Gulf War. Lloyd's List August 11, 2000

The current Latin American context does not bode well for a peaceful transition. In petroleumrich Venezuela, Castro has a new ally in the populist demagogue Hugo Chavez, whose cheap oil keeps Cuba running. Chavez is quietly wrecking the economy while preparing the inevitable coup. In neighbouring Columbia, the peace process has broken down with the FARC, the pseudo-Marxist warlords who supply America's cocaine habit. The FARC are backed by a bizarre consortium of allies, including Fidel, Chavez and Gerry Adams's Sinn Fein-IRA, who supply weapons training. George Kerevan in The Scotsman, December 21, 2001, Friday

Colombian rebels are being protected in neighbouring Venezuela, where President Hugo Chavez is being advised by Cuban and Russian security agents. An official in the Caracas intelligence service resigned last week after complaining publicly about Venezuela's support for Farc. "The policy is more than just irregular, it approaches treason," said Egui Bastidas. Tony Allen-Mills Washington, February 24, 2002, Sunday Times (London)

How Customs tracked down a passenger with a grenade | Any flight from Bogota, the capital of cocaine-rich Colombia, and Caracas, a favoured meeting place for drugs- traffickers, is a target for the mobile team patrolling the airport. The team leader scanned the passenger list and compared it with a profile of likely smugglers drawn up by intelligence officers. As the 37-year-old Venezuelan walked through the green channel, two officers quietly pulled him aside and began to look through his luggage. Stewart Tendler and Ben Webster, February 15, 2003. The Times (London)

According to Colombian intelligence reports, guerrillas operate at least two camps in Venezuela, where rebels are given weapons and explosives training. Colombian military sources claim that guerrillas obtain guns from corrupt Venezuelan military officers in exchange for cocaine. They say about 20 per cent of captured guerrilla weapons are stamped with Venezuelan Military Industry markings. Captured guerrillas and deserters have confirmed the reports. One defector, an 18-yearold commander with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), said she had travelled in and out of Venezuela at will, visiting Farc bases and training new recruits in Venezuela. "The guerrilla (commanders) are counting on Venezuela for their victory," she said. David Adams in Arauca, Colombia, April 2, 2003 The Times (London)

MI6 AGENTS are fighting a secret war in the jungle of Venezuela to stop Al Qaeda running huge quantities of guns and cocaine to Britain. The guns originally came from Cuba's arsenal of Soviet weapons provided during the Cold War and given to the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC. Its 20,000 guerrillas recently received updated weapons from North Korea, which arrived on fishing boats off the virtually unguarded coastline of Venezuela. From there they were carried to FARC bases on the border with Colombia. EXCLUSIVE From Gordon Thomas in Cartagena, Colombia. NEWS; Pg. 36 November 9, 2003 Sunday Express

Dozens of Basque immigrants demonstrated outside Venezuela's attorney general's office in Caracas to protest against the deportation of an alleged member of the Basque separatist group ETA. Wales on Sunday, NEWS; Pg. 30, June 9, 2002,

IRA part of world terror network, says the US | Three alleged Provos captured in Bogota last summer face charges of supplying mortars and providing explosives training to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Farc had close links to the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez, who was toppled by a military coup on Thursday, and had been supplied with arms and ammunition by the regime. IRA members are thought to have fled from Colombia through Venezuela after the arrests of James Monaghan, Martin McAuley and Niall Connolly in August. Monaghan and McAuley both have IRA convictions and Sinn Fein has admitted, after initially denying, that Connolly, who has no convictions, was their representative in Cuba. The Chavez regime counted Cuban and Russian agents among its advisers. By Toby Harnden in Washington, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON), April 13, 2002, Saturday, Pg. 11

Clash over Cuba with OAS leader | …The rhetoric grew heated early in the lunch, when Gaviria explained the circumstances around his petition for Castro’s help to free his brother, observers said. Juan Carlos Gaviria, an architect, was held hostage for more than two months by pro-Castro Colombian guerrillas. He was freed after Gaviria made an appeal to Castro to intercede. The Cuban leader sent two envoys to negotiate the release and arranged for the safe passage of eight of the guerrillas to relocate in Cuba. Gaviria, who has said he is ``personally grateful'' for Castro’s help, denied that it compromised his role as secretary general of an organization that suspended Cuba three decades ago. Thursday, September 26, 1996, in the Miami Herald, By CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS

Costa Rican authorities would later reveal that a man fitting his description entered their country using a false Venezuelan passport under the name Manuel Antonio Rodriguez. But Venezuela's Foreign Ministry says it had no record of anyone entering the country under that name, or Vladimiro Montesinos for that matter. It adds that Venezuela would "immediately" deport Montesinos to Peru if he were found. There are, however, those who say that the Venezuelan Government may know more than it is prepared to admit, pointing out that Venezuela is an ideal hiding place for someone in Montesinos's situation. "He's got money, and in Venezuela anything's for sale if you know the right people," says Dennis Jett, a former US Ambassador to Peru who met Montesinos on several occasions at official functions. Peruvian officials have, moreover, openly expressed their suspicions that the Venezuelan Government of Hugo Chavez, a former coup leader with close ties to Peru's military, is protecting Montesinos. Chavez's credentials add weight to these claims, for he has made a habit of shocking his neighbours. Significantly, links between Chavez's Venezuela and Peru go back at least to 1992. Peruvian investigators believe that Montesinos is being protected as a return favour by several former Venezuelan military officers who fled to Peru after a failed coup attempt by Chavez followers that year. The group was given asylum and lived for two years in comfortable exile at the expense of the Peruvian Government. Peruvian officials were further convinced of Montesinos's whereabouts after an employee at the Caracas clinic of a plastic surgeon described seeing a man resembling Montesinos. His presence was confirmed when photographs of Montesinos taken before the surgery were leaked to a newspaper in Caracas. Biggest heist in history ... | David Adams, May 3, 2001, Thursday. The Times (London)

En una entrevista concedida al periodista cubano Luis Baez, Chavez describio asi lo que siente por Fidel Castro: "En la carcel lei mucho La historia me absolvera, sus discursos y entrevistas... Saben que le pedi a Dios en la carcel?: 'Dios mio, quiero conocer a Fidel, cuando salga y tenga la libertad para hablar, para decir quien soy y que pienso". Y luego confiesa: "Fidel para mi es un padre, un companero, un maestro de la estrategia perfecta. Algun dia habra que escribir tantas cosas de todo esto que estamos viviendo y de los encuentros que he tenido con el...". Editorial Diez años de amistad | Internacional; Base; Pg. 8 El Pais, October 20, 2004

“I read a lot “History will absolve me” Fidel’s discourses and interviews… You know what I asked God for whilst in prison? My God, I want to meet Fidel, once out and with liberty to speak, to say who am I and what do I think. Fidel for me is a father, a companion, a master of the perfect strategy. Some day there will be so much to write about the things we’re living and the encounters I have had with him…”

Hugo Chavez is infatuated with Fidel Castro.

Fidel for me is a father, a companion, a master of the perfect strategy… Chavez’ words speak for themselves. His infatuation with the Cuban dictator began long before his ascent to Venezuela’s presidency. That Chavez is Fidel Castro’s greatest admirer and most benevolent supporter after the fall of communist Russia, there should not be any doubt. To Chavez’ own account, he shares a great deal of convictions, beliefs and ideals with Castro. There are an estimated 25.000 Cubans working presently in Venezuela under the guises of sport trainers, teachers and health workers. The Cuban G2 is believed to have permeated all structures of power in Venezuela. The signing of the Caracas Accord between Cuba and Venezuela on October 30 2000, provided for a most potent ‘diplomatic tool’ to leverage anew the lost political clout of Castro in the region via his apprentice. It should be borne in mind that Cuba receives from Venezuela upwards of 53.000 barrels of oil per day in extremely favourable conditions. So beneficial are the said conditions, that Cuba owes Venezuela more than $1 billion since the agreement came to force for repayments have, to date, been made ‘in kind’, that is to say intelligence, seudo sport trainers and doctors. In that way Chavez, and his financially revived idol, bought themselves the leniency, votes and support of Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic at the OAS.

Castro and the FARC

Various journalists have quoted quite repetitively over the years a link between Castro and the FARC. The most patent example of Castro’s ascent over FARC leaders was his involvement in the liberation of former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria’s brother in 1996. That Fidel Castro is a totalitarian dictator, who has oppressed the Cuban people for more than four decades and who has sought to destabilise a number of countries around the world, there ought to be no doubt. The Colombian terrorists group FARC have being influenced and to a certain extent indoctrinated by Castro and his agents.

Chavez and the FARC

High military officers from the Venezuelan army have informed Chavez about the presence of guerrilla camps in Venezuela. Specific geographical coordinates and reports in that respect have been given to Chavez. General Nestor Gonzalez Gonzalez, commander of the military garrison of La Fria, produced a detailed report about guerrilla activities after having conducted operations of aerial reconnaissance in the area. Gonzalez met personally with Hugo Chavez in El Vigia on February 11 2002 to discuss the situation. General Manuel Rosendo confirms receipt of the said investigation on February 13 2001. In spite of the evidence gathered and the detailed locations of guerrilla camps identified in Rio de Oro, Casigua El Cubo, Rio Lora, Rio Atapsi and other areas of Sierra de Perija, Chavez and his high military command decided to turn a blind eye on the situation and no further action was taken.

This by no means is a solitary case; the Colombian army has been denouncing the issue of the guerrillas taken refuge in Venezuela to no avail.

Chavez and human rights violations

In this instance one must let the events and evidence speak for itself:

Amnesty International reports

Human Rights Watch reports

Inter American Commission on Human Rights reports

Reporters without Borders report

International Society for Human Rights and the Andrei Sajarov Foundation

COFAVIC report

PROVEA report

Red de Veedores

List of missing, assassinated and political prisoners of Venezuela

Chavez’ international support

The aforementioned sets the stage quite neatly to give a flavour of who Hugo Chavez is, who his friends are and what sort of political plan he envisages for Venezuela and the region. One could also add that Chavez made his debut in the political scene of the country in February 1992 when he planned and commanded a coup d’etat. Having failed -the enterprise of overthrowing the government of Carlos Andres Perez- the first time, his military companions tried a second attempt in November of the same year. However grave and evident Chavez’ trail of violence, terrorism and utter disrespect towards democratic precepts is, he still commands a considerable fan base in Venezuela and abroad. Awash with oil money he has given a new meaning to the term populism. In recent electoral events vast sums of money were spent without any form of accountability and control with the purpose of mustering support by means of cash hand outs. Ergo, in a country where 80% of the population is estimated to be living in poverty, someone who engages in such largesse is well liked by most people.

Internationally Chavez is perceived by leftists and chronic anti establishment figures with much romanticism. In Europe and the USA one can see how important news outlets, such as the BBC, Le Monde Diplomatique and the New York Times, keep hammering upon the argument that Chavez is the great saviour of the Venezuelan dispossessed, which to an extent is true. What comes as a shock, to the learned about current Venezuelan issues, is the absolute absence of criticism vis-à-vis a) violations to human rights; b) links to terrorist organizations and c); utter encroachment to democratic precepts endemic to rogue states. In an era where the world seems to be divided between those who condemn and fight terrorism and those who flirt with the concept of ending capitalism and globalization by promoting and lobbying in favour of terrorists, Chavez has establish himself as the leading voice of the resentful and a beacon of anti Americanism. Such stance has gained him a great deal of support. A clear distinction needs be made though; inflammable rhetoric does not change or alter in any manner mountains of evidence. Thus shouting anti establishment mantras in public spiels in Caracas’ Avenida Bolivar does not preclude the fact that Chavez, a criminal himself, has adopted a policy of alignment with outlaws who only seek to destabilise, destroy and ransack Venezuela at the expense of the ever so prostituted argument of the instauration of a truly participatory democracy.

Legislation to curb and counteract terrorism has been passed in the USA and other countries. Not only those who commit abominable acts can be prosecuted, those who aid and abet with terrorists should also be subject of minute investigation and prosecution under criminal laws. Hence one must denounce in the strongest possible terms those supporting –internationally- the terrorist regime spearheaded by Hugo Chavez. Said aid refers to:

1. lobbying activities to influence policy towards Venezuela, presently a State governed by terrorists;

2. dissemination of the regime’s propaganda;

3. tergiversation of reality about specific issues, such as human rights abuses;

4. unfounded and false accusations made against groups that oppose Hugo Chavez;

5. promotion of hatred and political prosecution, as established by the Rome Statute.

In that light, attention needs to be brought upon individuals whose activism and defence of Hugo Chavez in the international arena have generated an enormous amount of sympathy towards the neofascist Venezuelan leader abroad whilst internally NGO representatives and political opponents are systematically prosecuted.

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