Chavez can’t find any FARC bases in Venezuela. Colombia gives him a map.
Colombia provided Mr. Chavez with some unwelcome education last week. It’s a map of FARC bases in Venezuela.
In addition they provided the coordinates of the base camp of FARC leader Ivan Marquez, which are: North 10° 40′ 42″ West 72° 32′ 03. That puts him pretty close to some prime Colombian tourist destinations like Santa Marta and Riohacha. Maybe he likes the beach?
Google Maps shows it like this:
Of course, Chavez denied everything, and threw his usual diplomatic tantrum:
As on previous occasions, Chávez responded by proclaiming his innocence and denying the allegations. Chávez’s officials said the area was checked and that no such camps have been found. They charged Colombia and the Uribe Administration with seeking to sabotage relations before Santos can take office. Venezuela recalled its ambassador to Colombia.
So all of this may have been news to Chavez, but discussing this with one of my Venezuelan friends got me the response, “Yeah, so? When I used to work in Maracaibo everybody knew that FARC was up there.” The Venezuelan city of Maracaibo is not far from the mountains where the camp is located.
If such a thing is common knowledge to average Venezuelans, could it be that Chavez really didn’t know about it?
No. That’s not what is happening, and I need to make something very clear: Chavez is not stupid. I made that mistake in some of my early posts, but the man has proven himself to be a brilliant manipulator of a host of complex legal and diplomatic processes. If he’s crude and rough and unpolished, I’m coming to believe that that’s the perfect “front” to present to a world that cannot bring itself to believe that he’s getting away with all the stuff he’s getting away with.
Anyway, if Chavez really wanted to get his hands on FARC leader Marquez, well, it looks like he’s got one hand on him already:
It should be noted that Colombian senator Diedad Cordoba, lower right in the pic, is suspected of being involved with two criminal organizations: FARC, and the U.S. congress.
Just kidding, I’m not that cynical about congress – yet.
Based on information found in FARC commander Raul Reyes’ laptop (I touched on a different set of those laptop revelations here), Cordoba has been charged with collaborating with FARC “outside of the parameters of her role as a hostage release negotiator.”
[OG snark: If those charges had been filed a year ago they might have helped her win the Nobel Peace prize. It was won by President Obama instead.]
As for her contacts with congress, her participation in discussions between FARC and congressional representatives James McGovern and Nancy Pelosi is well known but – wink, wink – generally ignored.
Looks like Nancy got the memo about the Red outfit, but what’s this – no scarf? It should be noted that James McGovern’s excuse for reaching out to FARC was that they “shouldn’t be isolated”. However his and Nancy’s stance on the Colombian Free Trade agreement indicate their belief that the democratically elected government of Colombia should be isolated.
Shame on both of them.
Where were we.
Oh yeah, Chavez can’t find any FARC bases in Venezuela. I’m guessing that he can’t find any airstrips, planes, cocaine labs, trucks, or heavily laden ships bound for Africa, Europe and Mexico either. Is Chavez learning from FARC about nation-states in the narco-trafficking business?
In the blog post linked to above, Ray Walser suggests what may be at the heart of the matter. He states,
This latest round in the Colombia-Venezuela dispute merits serious attention by the newly established South American Defense Council, a part of South America’s UNASUR and by the Organization of American States (OAS) as well. Latin American diplomats and security experts need to step forward to support a serious investigation of Colombia’s allegations.
This is why Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva held a press conference to discuss things that everyone already knew: to remind the world of what is happening, to “raise awareness” if you will, to make sure that the world takes this stuff seriously.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s the world sat on its hands and watched while Al Qaeda grew in power and influence, then we all acted like 9/11 was such a surprise, rather than a logical step forward on a path everyone could see they were on.
The world sat on its hands and watched throughout the 1930s as the pieces were put in place for the most devastating war machine in Europe’s history.
Both of these chapters in current and future history books took place in plain sight, with the world watching and sitting on its hands. Now FARC, and Venezuela, and the ALBA nations, and narco-terrorism – where is this leading? We’re not only watching, in many important ways we’re also enabling.
If not downright collaborating.