Macaco’s extradition, pro and con A most welcome visitor
May 112008

In a few days, Interpol will likely certify the authenticity of guerrilla communications from computer drives and other media that the Colombian military recovered at the site where, on March 1, they killed FARC leader Raúl Reyes. In advance of this announcement, the Colombian government appears to be rolling out new information by spoon-feeding leaks to selected media outlets.

Major new leaks appeared in the May 1 Miami Herald and on page 1 of Friday’s Wall Street Journal. The Journal piece made such a splash that it appears to have driven up the price of oil by more than $2 a barrel, as traders worried that new indications of possible Venezuelan aid to the FARC might cause the United States to add Venezuela to its list of terrorist-sponsoring states.

As before, the documents in question are communications between guerrilla leaders. Several offer accounts of meetings with officials of the Venezuelan government, some of them high-ranking. No documents or writings from the Venezuelans themselves appear; the FARC communications only reflect the guerrillas’ version of events.

The documents do hint that these Venezuelan officials may have been committing – or at least offering to commit – some very improper acts. In chronological order:

  • “A difficult guy”: Miami Herald: “The e-mails also suggest that as far back as 2005, the rebels attempted to win favors from Chávez, a man they characterized as ‘a difficult guy’ in charge of a country ‘with important reserves, useful for our purposes.’”

This seems to confirm that while the FARC had contacts with the Chávez government, they were not close – at least at the highest levels – until 2007.

By 2005, it was known that some Venezuelan arms were ending up in FARC hands and that local Venezuelan officials – probably more out of corruption than solidarity – were selling them weapons and allowing guerrillas to cross into Venezuela. Similar phenomena have been alleged in the remote border zones that Colombia shares with several of its neighbors. It is impossible to establish whether the permissive environment the guerrillas enjoyed in the border zone was the result of official Chávez government policy.

There appear to have been some closer contacts with the Chávez government’s top levels in early 2007, after Chávez’s December 2006 re-election, as he began a new term with a noticeably more radical program than before. These became far closer, of course, after August 2007, when Colombian President Álvaro Uribe “authorized” Chávez to serve as a facilitator of dialogues with the FARC.

  • Presence in Venezuela: WSJ: “[A]ccording to one 2005 email, from Jorge Briceño (known as Mono Jojoy, a top FARC military commander), the rebels at that time had some 370 guerrillas and urban sympathizers operating inside Venezuela.”

The figure of 370 FARC guerrillas and civilian sympathizers in Venezuela in 2005 tells us little about official Venezuelan support at the time. The guerrillas may have had similar numbers in Ecuador (which at the time had no leftist government), and perhaps smaller but significant numbers in Peru, Brazil and Panama.

  • Guerrilla warfare training: Miami Herald: “In an e-mail dated Apr. 18, 2005, ‘Iván’ writes to ‘Raúl’ that somebody he calls ‘Tino,’ who has a top responsibility for handling the Popular Defense Units — the armed civilian militias that Chávez created to defend his Bolivarian revolution — is interested in getting his troop leaders trained in guerrilla warfare with the rebels.”

This is genuinely troubling. Again, though, it is impossible to determine whether Chávez or any other top leaders were seeking this assistance, whether “Tino” was acting on his own, or even whether the guerrillas’ account of the discussion with “Tino” – whoever he is – is accurate.

  • Loan request: Miami Herald: “The Herald also has seen one e-mail dated January 2007 in which a FARC leader named Jorge Briceño, also known as ‘Mono Jojoy,’ writes to the Secretariat that he proposes to ask Chávez for a loan of $250 million, ‘to be repaid when we take power.’”WSJ: “In one document dated January 2007, one top FARC commander speaks of a ‘loan’ for $250 million to buy arms which the FARC will pay back once it has reached power. ‘Don’t think of it as a loan, think of it as solidarity,’ says Mr. [Ramón] Rodríguez Chacin, the interior minister, in another document.”

It hardly stretches the imagination that the FARC asked Venezuela for money, perhaps on repeated occasions. We still have seen no indication that the Venezuelans said “yes.”

On the other hand, Rodríguez Chacín’s alleged comment would indicate that, at best, the Venezuelans had not said “no.” (It was Rodríguez Chacín who, while helping retrieve released FARC hostages Consuelo González and Clara Rojas in January, told one of the FARC captors on camera, “We are following your struggle. Maintain this spirit, maintain your strength and count on us. … Take care, comrades.”)

  • “Bazookas”: WSJ: “In another email dated early 2007, FARC commander Iván Márquez describes meetings with the Venezuelan military’s intelligence chief, Gen. Hugo Carvajal, and another Venezuelan officer to talk about ‘finances, arms and border policy.’ Mr. Márquez relates that the Venezuelans will provide the guerrillas some 20 ‘very powerful bazookas,’ which Colombian military officials believe is a reference to rocket-propelled grenade launchers.”
  • Arms shipments: WSJ: “At the meeting with Gen. Carvajal, another Venezuelan general is described as offering the port of Maracaibo to facilitate arms shipments to the guerrillas. The general suggests piggybacking on shipments from Russia — from which Venezuela itself is buying everything from Kalashnikovs to jet fighters — to ‘include some containers destined to the FARC’ with various arms for the guerrillas’ own use.”

  • “Rockets”: WSJ: “One email, apparently sent by a FARC commander known as ‘Timochenko’ to the guerrillas’ ruling body in March 2007, describes meetings with Venezuelan naval-intelligence officers who offer the FARC assistance in getting ‘rockets.’ The Venezuelans also offer to help a FARC guerrilla travel to the Middle East to learn how to use the rockets. Colombian military analysts believe the reference is to shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles.”
  • “Rest areas”: WSJ: “Another email describes a November [2007] meeting between two FARC commanders and Mr. Chávez. The commanders, Ricardo Granda and Iván Márquez, report back in the email that Mr. Chávez gave orders to create ‘rest areas’ and hospital zones for the guerrillas to use on the Venezuelan side of the border.”
  • Training in guerrilla tactics: Miami Herald: “‘[Venezuelan Interior Minister Ramón] Rodríguez Chacín inquired about the possibility that we share our experience in guerrilla warfare, something that they call assymetric war. They want operational tactics, explosives, bolivarian education, jungle camps, ambushes, logistic, mobility . . . , all of it thinking about an adequate response to a U.S. invasion,’ writes ‘Iván’ in the e-mail, dated Nov. 14, 2007.”

These are the first guerrilla documents indicating offers of Venezuelan material support before December 2007, when the discussions of a possible offer of “300″ (300 what? The Colombians think “millions of dollars”) apparently began.

In light of this additional information – and in the likelihood that more is probably coming – here are three observations.

1. There is little doubt that the documents are real and untampered with. Interpol is very likely to conclude that, and it stands to reason – it would be hugely embarrassing for Colombia to be discovered to have been tampering with the computer files. We have to proceed on the assumption that these guerrilla communications are real. Venezuela’s denials of their authenticity constitute a weak defense.

2. More questionable is the accuracy of the guerrillas’ version of events. We are forced to rely on accounts from far-flung guerrilla leaders who have a strong incentive to portray their overtures to Venezuela as successful. For the FARC, getting material support from Caracas was probably the main benefit they hoped to win from these contacts, so anything that even appeared to hint at progress toward getting arms or cash was prominently reported, possibly in an exaggerated way.

The Venezuelans do appear to have welcomed contacts with the FARC and to have discussed – and certainly not refused – possible material support. But we must not view guerrilla communications as the literal truth. This is the same guerrilla leadership, after all, that promised in December to turn over a child hostage who had in fact slipped out of their custody two years earlier. Too much of their information is hearsay and the reports of commanders seeking to put the most positive possible spin on events.

3. Venezuela may still have been up to something improper. Is the proof solid enough to seek sanctions? There is a compelling reason to hold out for a higher standard of evidence: the consequences are serious.

If Venezuela was truly conspiring to aid a group seeking to overthrow a neighboring government, then Latin America is facing its greatest security crisis in many years.

Venezuela would be in direct violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter. (”All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”) Colombia would have the right to go to the Security Council to seek international sanctions against Venezuela.

Venezuela would also be offering material support to a group on the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations. The State Department would then be compelled to add Venezuela to its list of terrorist-sponsoring states (alongside Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria). The list of resulting sanctions would include requiring all trade with Venezuela – including all oil purchases – to be specifically licensed by the Department of the Treasury.

This would generate enough uncertainty to roil already volatile global oil markets, further driving up U.S. gas prices in the midst of an election year.

That is probably reason enough for the U.S. government to hold out for more solid evidence on Venezuela-FARC ties. The guerrillas’ side of the story is worrisome, but does not go far enough “beyond a reasonable doubt” to justify the harsh response that U.S. and international law would require.

45 Responses to “What the new FARC documents tell us”

  1. Jaime Bustos Says:

    It’s hard to imagine how on earth, with the supposed computers being in Interpol’s custody, so many “documents” are leaking to the press, and mostly foreign press relative to Colombia.

    In my opinion, the information might be plausible, but the entire succession of events, suggests that something is not right and smells fetid.

  2. Tambopaxi Says:

    Re: Jaime’s concerns:

    It’s not clear where the original computers are at this point (at least to me), i.e., they may with InterPol still, or maybe back in GOC hands. In any event, I’m sure the GOC made copies of everything before passing the computers over to InterPol.

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised or puzzled at the leaks of this info. The laptops are obviously a treasure trove of info damaging to the FARC and their friends, and the GOC is going to milk those hard disks for every last bit of political, if not propagandistic impact.

    One of the best ways of maximizing political damage is to keep the laptop story alive as long as possible, and so I’d guess that we’ll see the water torture strategy of a constant drip-drip of new articles like those Adam cites coming to light in the coming months.

    There’s a lot of juicy stuff on those laptops, it appears, and I think we can count on the GOC to keep those documents and attendant political impacts coming for quite some time to come. The whole thing may smell fetid to the parties that are subjects of the documents, but the succession of events is politcally logical and it’s way, way not over yet…

  3. Santiago Garcia Says:

    Well, obviously Interpol is simply a tool of THE EMPIRE:

    http://www.eltiempo.com/politica/2008-05-11/ARTICULO-WEB-NOTA_INTERIOR-4158572.html
    http://www.unionradio.com.ve/Noticias/Noticia.aspx?noticiaid=240964

    In all seriousness though:

    http://www.semana.com/wf_InfoArticulo.aspx?idArt=111741

  4. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Tombopaxi’s assertions:

    Ok, Tombo, I see you are challenging my knowledge. I was only trying to be soft on gullible dummies.

    Here, two links to the first “documents” from the computers published by “EL TIEMPO” on March 3 2008.

    ARCHIVO-3983273-0.pdf
    ARCHIVO-3983275-0.pdf

    As anybody with expertise in computers can see these documents are not digital (I mean though they could be stored in a computer), they are xerox copies , and mainly in document “ARCHIVO-3983275-0.pdf”, the heading could not have been written by FARC, but the letters show the same worn out pattern as the rest of the document.

    Clearly they are whether forgeries, or come from a source other than the miraculous computers, and are very old. :mrgreen:

  5. maremoto Says:

    I think Uribe is a fool for disclosing the contents of the laptop and willfully inviting a foreign power deeper into our region (see the IV Fleet redeployed to Latin America for the first time in more than 4 decades), with its ominous “Association of the Americas”

    I think Colombia should come to a quick peace agreement and then say goodbye to every foreign presence on Colombian territory whether it is American (the NEOCON strike back) or Venezuelan (The retarded Bolivarians)

    but nope, Mr Uribe can’t really disobey and become another Samper, eh ?

    you gotta love destiny; what comes around goes around.

  6. Santos Says:

    It appears that the Colombians still haven’t turned over the the “incriminating” documents to either Ecuador or Venezuela yet–something they promised to do after the first document dump was made public. So they are basically trying the two governments in the press w/out allowing the accused to even look at the evidence or begin to defend themselves. That’s got to be maddening.

  7. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Adam, thanks for not publishing my comment, proving that the computers are a hoax. I could be killed therefore. This is a secret between you and I. OK?

  8. Camilo Says:

    Well, I think that both Correa and Chávez are worried about the turnabouts of their coward plans. It seems very hard not to believe the info gather from the PCs; it might be the case that that info is not enough to legally prove much, but it simply uncovered the strategy they had to take the power in Colombia. farc did not wrote emails to some random guys, their interlocutors where officials in both governments.

  9. jcg Says:

    A lot of food for thought there, Adam.

    Tambopaxi : I generally agree with your points.

    Jaime: Not really.

    I noticed part of that too, whether you believe it or not, but those could simply be the public copies (or scans of copies), edited for release on a case by case, and not the originals per se, in their initial form.

    Hardly means they are fake, just because the public presentation went through more than one filter, printer, scanner or copying machine. Is that so hard to understand?

    Btw, Jaime, your post is already up, even if it may have taken a while (I suppose). No need to be sarcastic against Adam. That has happened to me before, at least once, and I thought nothing of it.

    Santos: Actually, Colombia did send some copies of the documents, but the originals were either in Colombia or with Interpol.

    But I guess “Interpol is a tool of the Empire” is what it will all come down to.

  10. Jaime Bustos Says:

    jfc, there’s no reason to be so upset about what I proved.

    Of course, the only means to convert whatever physical document into a pdf file is by scanning it.

    And those pdf’s are obviously the result of scanned images from a physical bundle of papers, that’s not into question, that goes without saying.

    Unfortunately for your meandering looping mind the same arguments still hold.

  11. GWEH Says:

    Chavez collusion with FARC has been clearly documented in the Venezuelan local meda going back to 2002 when Generals in charge of the frontier started sounding the alarms that their requests for troops and action plans to deal with the coca and poppy cultivation and colombian irregulars (FARC, ELN, UAC) inside Venezuela were being disregarded by superiors but Mr Adam of this blog was not informed about Venezuela or these and other events at the time. Mr Adam is a newcomer to Venezuela with less than 4 years of experience on the subject and poor experience at that.

    What is going on is nothing new to anyone who is informed on the subject.

  12. jcg Says:

    Looking at one of the documents again, that hardly seems to be the case.

    Let’s suppose that there’s a file on the PC, in whatever format (TXT, DOC, an e-mail inbox and so forth), called “Secre13″, which the government printed in a hurry for the March 03 press conference -adding the header in the process- and then scanned, also in a hurry.

    Does that mean it is fake? Not really or not necessarily.

    If so, then Interpol must either be made up of idiots or “tools of the Empire”.

    But there are in fact other explanations and, right now, I don’t see why I should ignore them.

    And btw, there were more documents released than just those two PDF files you are linking too, albeit those were the first.

  13. Jaime Bustos Says:

    jcg,

    I have all the documents released, at least in the colombian press.

    Successive documents, were shown as a digital pdf should should, that’s what arouse my suspicion even further, given that the first ones showed scanned pages of what appeared to be aged stationery.

    Look man, I cannot write an essay on the whole story, but look how the header is completely aligned to the text what means it was forged in the same document, not written over a copy afterwards. Furthermore the document seems very worn out, and again the header of the GOC, if the document was real anyway, would indicate they were tampering with evidence, editing the document, when they added the header.

    I know for a fact the documents whether are forgeries or old documents from the American intelligence. That’s why I say what they describe can be true.

    But as a consequence of the evidence of tampering, one can also assume they can create or edit documents at will with the expected consequences (Don’t know if you read about not other than Mr Obama being in the computer, and I am not kidding).

    Man. I see you have this implanted feeling to call traces of infamous acts by infamous humans as conspiracies, and then relate that to the loony tunes cartoons.

    I must tell you, and you should know by now, judging by what is happening in Colombia right now, people in power, even more, obscure people from the mafia, cannot be trusted, and interests from outside abound as to cleanse Chavez out of the way. First he is a self confessed communist and second he has under his jurisdiction one of the largest oil reservoirs in the world.

    I always stick out one finger then another and shout 2! Bingo!

  14. Slave Revolt Says:

    My question is this: given the US record of supporting anti-democratic forces (like the Colombian government) and terror throughout the world (and with the Colombian govenrment), why should anyone not see this ‘evidence’ as suspect, as a result of the US/Colombian black operations.

    Given that Colombia is a US puppet state in the region, as an “Isreal”, why wouldn’t Chavez see it in his interest to form communications with FARC.

    It is true that the Colombian rightwing oligarchy, the military, and Uribe’s government have supported paramitiary terror–and this comprises the lion’s share of the violence against innocent civilians. More, these paramillitary forces have also tried to destablized the Venezuelan government.

    However, establishing ties with FARC is not the same thing as doing what the Colombian government does–in actively supporting paramilitary terrorism.

    This is simply one more move on the part of the empire and the Latin American rightwing to wound the nascent left in South America.

    Indeed, the information that is being released is likely a combination of the authentic with the false. And the credulity with which one engages this ‘information’ points up one’s support or opposition to the empire and the Latin American rightwing’s overall goals in the region.

    From his past comments, it is clear that Tampoxi carries water for imperialist terror and the anti-democratic forces with which he has allied himself.

  15. Paul Says:

    “I always stick out one finger then another and shout 2! Bingo!”

    Oh.

    If you’re interested in accuracy, a more sound method of analysis would work wonders. Occam’s Razor is a good place to start.

  16. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Pablo, look Occam’s Razor is a heuristic technique, to apply in case of uncertainty; as you can see there is no uncertainty here. ;-)

  17. Paul Says:

    Well yeah, Chavez is in bed with the FARC. That’s for certain.

  18. Chris Says:

    It’s not in anyone’s interests to spin this out of control…the goal here is for each country to check each other. The US certainly cannot afford to implement any new, agressive policy in South America for logistical, fiscal and economic reasons.

    Everyone is in a weak position. Chavez has seen dwindling support, Uribe has the paramilitary scandal, and Bush…I don’t even know where to begin with Bush.

    Again, the idea is to limit Chavez’s support of the FARC by humiliating him publicly and letting him know that continued support could be debilitating. At the same time, I think Colombia will make back door promises to Venezuela to aussage the affects of these disclosures.

    Jaime Bustos, you’re wrong about the veracity of these documents. You should instead focus on the tenuous relationship that exists between the FARC and Venezuela to disprove any real links, like Adam did. If you look at the big picture, what does Venezuela have to gain with FARC collusion? Chavez could never hope to control a ruling FARC regime in Colombia as he controls Correa or others, and such a strong regime might actually be a threat to Chavez himself. Socialists aren’t necessarily the best of buddies. Chavez merely likes the status quo and doesn’t want a strong Colombian neighbor, so he’ll support the FARC just enough to keep Colombia unstable.

  19. Purple Library Guy Says:

    I’m not sure what the point is of investigating the laptop for tampering, anyway. If I were going to fake something like that, I wouldn’t plant files on a laptop, I’d just plant a laptop with files in it. Unless we’re figuring that springing for a laptop would be too heavy for the budget?

    I will admit that past high-profile forgery efforts (cough!) Yellowcake (cough!) have been surprisingly amateurish, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they all are.

    The only thing, actually, that inclines me to a belief that this stuff is genuine is that it’s so ambiguous. There’s no real indication that Venezuela did anything particularly wrong–certainly not as wrong as most governments do on a regular basis. If anything, for a government trying hard to get a PR coup by persuading the FARC to release prisoners, I’m amazed that they seem to have made zero solid commitments to do anything for the FARC in return.
    Certainly this laptop provides less evidence for Venezuelan help to the FARC than we have of US help to the coup in Venezuela, death squads in Colombia et cetera., and that’s just in the last few years specifically in Latin America–go world wide, and shortly before 9/11 you find them backing Muslim terrorists all over the place. I find it hard to fathom how anything on this laptop gives the US of all nations an excuse for denouncing someone else’s collaboration with terrorists.

  20. jcg Says:

    Jaime Bustos: Improper printing and scanning equals aging? I didn’t realize it.

    “Tampering”, or simply editing a header, the first publicly released printed document, after an evidently rushed press conference, does not automatically equal tampering with the evidence itself.

    If what Interpol has access to is that PDF, then you might even have a strong reason to make this point. But I doubt that is the case. If they can look at the files in their original formats, it doesn’t matter if the printed copies look “aged” or had an arbitrary header attached.

    Unless you want to argue that Interpol is a “tool of the Empire”, which makes any further debate useless, I expect that their report will have to include a detailed overview of the number of files and the amount of information in the computers, if they authenticate their content (not, again, the claims or interpretations per se). Perhaps those details will not be made public, but I hope they will be. If so, can you imagine that much information being forged, again, without assuming that Interpol is a “tool of the Empire”?

    That doesn’t mean that the Colombian government’s presentation and interpretation of the documents is correct and flawless. It isn’t.

    Evidently, the government is using the documents as a political tool, and that may include explicitly misrepresenting their contents. We’ve all seen that much.The events during the first few weeks after the fact showed it.

    But that doesn’t mean we should just let everything fade away, as Venezuela’s Chavez would want. I have very serious doubts about certain issues and would like to read some of the latest claims directly from the source documents if possible. Hopefully we can verify or dismiss the claims on a case by case basis.

    By the way, there is indeed a mention of Obama, through some individuals who claim to be coming on his behalf, but that fact alone doesn’t mean much, either way. Those fellows could have been lying or merely trying to see if FARC caught a bait, for all I know about the reality of the event (which is nothing). That hardly means that the mention is a lie. I am not in favor of calling for reactionary witch hunts after every single accusation, but I’m also not in favor of just screaming “this is all the work of the Empire”, in more or less words, like Mr. Chavez likes to do.

    I respect what Chavez has done for the poor and everything else that can be reasonably considered as good for the people of Venezuela (which is NOT every single thing, mind you), but right now I don’t think his hands are entirely clean (the Rodríguez Chacín remarks alone, on camera during the hostage liberation, are very troubling signs, if not really proof of anything), or that he is a mere victim of the U.S. and Colombian governments because of his politics and ideology.

    That may, however, make the situation worse because those two governments do in fact want to exaggerate things. I believe Chavez and the Venezuelan government have a right to defend themselves of course, but I do think there is enough reason to investigate the situation further. Even if no real verdict can be reached until the proper legal instances are reached. I don’t think Chavez or any of his officials are automatically guilty, just that the information can’t be dismissed with the wave of one hand. There must be investigations and examinations of the real or alleged proof. It may be that there is only a marginal merit to the accusations, perhaps “Reyes” made a bunch of stuff up to fool other FARC members and make them feel more optimistic, making the whole thing little more than a paranoid game, but that has to be the result of a serious process. Not an immediate conclusion.

    Just like with parapolitics, ironically enough. We have hundreds of accusations which can’t exactly be dismissed, just because there are only a few judicial sentences so far, and the accused individuals also have a right to defend themselves. Many of them may appear to be guilty, presumably, but then again some might not, and everyone’s formal innocence is just as valid as that of Chavez or anyone else.

    Slave Revolt: Because even if that were the case, at least to an extent I imagine it could well be, the overall situation is not so simple as you are describing or implying that it is (evil U.S. and Colombian governments vs. “good” Chávez and “if not good, then less evil” FARC).

  21. Slave Revolt Says:

    The elephant in the room for me is the US goals for imperialism in the region.

    This is a classic comprador/empire relationship with the US and Colombia.

    Colombia is truely a terror state–as is the US.

    So, any evidence that they present from this magic laptop is thouroughly suspect.

    Given the proven links between the Colombian state and the paramilitary deathsquads–and the illegal, state terror tactics of the US–all of this conflict is simply a way of frightening nations in the region to separate from any alliances with Venezuela.

    And given that Venezuela hasn’t illegally invaded any nations recently–the buzz created with this incident, while the historical and present-day reality of US and Colombian support for terror is submerged from the political discourse, is too ludicrous to even argue.

    No doubt, however, the worry for Venezuela is imperialist violence.

    Thank God that Venezuela has the oil card–so if the empire and its comprador ally keep this up, and tensions heighten, then the markets will punish the US economy.

    The oil market is the only thing that has saved Chavez from being taken out by the US so far.

    PLG–don’t you think that it is the speciality of US black operations to make this shit seem ambiguous, and therefore somehow ‘convincing’ to the easily manipulated. No doubt this is an amalgum of authentic and manufactured information. It is intended to convince US aligned institutions like Interpol.

    If Interpol were in any way legit, they would be issuing warrents for Bush and Cheney. Give me a break! LOL Note: this is not hyperpole. This is no joke–not for the dead and maimed Iraqi children.

    We make a mistake when we honor the terms of discussion that are legitimated by US imperialism. This is a lie. The empire has not fucking clothes.

  22. Artuto Rosales Says:

    Why were the docuemnts leaked to MH, WSJ, WP etc. before Interpol reported.? Why is there so little in this media about Uribe´s and his family’s problems due to their links with the paras?

    The laptop mystery is simply there to deflect from Colombia’s internal problems and the narco – terrorist government there.

    As Chavez said yesterday – he wants proof about these allegations. Is it not also interesting that no emails were found in Reyes miracle laptop from the Venezuelan government if the links between FARC and Ven gov. were really real?

    This will turn out to be anotehr media show.

  23. Stuart Says:

    Sidenote:
    Chris- could you back up your claim that Chvez controls Correa?

  24. Jaime Bustos Says:

    jcg, I am glad I have made your opinion evolve from nothing happening to rushing fools printing documents, to out-of-toner printer to a header being planted inside a “copy” of the document, (not the original). That’s enough for me.

    I am not going to comment any further on why it’s not a toner issue, I could go on forever and explain the watermark logo in every page of the fake documents, and who it belongs to. But I’ll leave it at that.

    Btw, I don’t try to exculpate Mr Chavez, and I hope I made it clear from my first post, but I am not for a gang of shooting point blank racketeers invading Venezuela either.

  25. Chris Says:

    Stuart,

    I can’t…but who can back anything up (i.e. Uribe and para links, FARC & Venezuelan cohesion, CIA Black Ops to undermine the entire southern hemisphere, conspiracy theories galore!)…. everyone can only give their point of view and perhaps some well though out arguments. No one has yet produced any solid evidence for anything, no smoking gun…it’s all like politics on this forum…Republicans vs. Democrats :-)

  26. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Chris I have to agree with what you say to a point. But if you are going to tell me you don’t have at least a slight suspicion of Mr Uribe, having had a couple of hanky panky affairs with some stray sheep, I would have to call you a liar. :lol:

  27. Chris Says:

    Yep…I know that Uribe has a shady past and is probably having a shady present, but I KNOW that about as much as I know that Chavez has a strong influence on Correa. I don’t have concrete proof one way or another.

    So….now Camilla and Stuart think I am full of it for leaning one way or another. :-)

  28. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Camilla? I thought she had been superannuated, and was in some paradisaic island in shorts taking photos at native people, while drinking pina colada, and shopping for trinkets! :lol:

  29. jcg Says:

    Jaime: If you’re right, more power to you. If not, then the opposite.

    Something else just happened in the real life and I lost the will to discuss anything, so whatever…

  30. Jaime Bustos Says:

    Jcg,

    I hope it’s not to bad .. good luck … Jaime

  31. Artuto Rosales Says:

    Chris – could your supposition that Chavez has a strong influence on Correa be down to the fact that Correa has always called himself “Bolivarian” In essence this means being anti-imperialist.

    Read Pividal’s book on Bolívar Precursor del Anti-Imperialismo and you’ll see things crystal. Otherwise perhaps you should write “in my unsubstantialed opinion, I guess that Chavez has a great deal of influence on Correa.”

  32. Tambopaxi Says:

    ..On the Chavez – Correa byplay, watching Correa literally every day, I’d have to say that he’s not controlled by Chavez.

    C and C clearly enjoy each other’s company, they have similar views on a variety of subjects including the quasi socialistic programs they hold out as 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism and, on occasion, similar anti-grngo rants. As well, Correa’s government has availed itself of GOV aid in the form of refined POL products, urea, etc.

    All that said, though, Correa has had his differences with Chavez, e.g., his refusal to join ALBA and in fact, his call to Chavez to come back into the CAN (Correa’s a CAN man, if I may coin a phrase). Correa’s a very smart, well-educated, supremely self-confident guy who does not in any way subordinate himself to Chavez (as opposed to Morales, who comes across that way once in a while).

    Re: the laptop docs themselves, I think they’re genuine. I haven’t had time to wade through all of the stuff that’s come out, but it’s clear that there’s an ideological affinity between the FARC, Chavez and Correa and that there has been considerable communication between the FARC, the GOV and the GOE.

    Over the years it’s become clear that the FARC has felt free, if not welcome, to use Ecuador as a safe haven, and in fact literally dozens of large FARC encampments been found in Ecuador (without any FARC members being captured), and I shouldn’t surprised if there are similar encampments in Venezuela. (NB: I haven’t forgotten the arrest of Cmdte Trinidad here a while back; that was the one surprising exception to the pattern over the years.)

    Regarding support (e.g., financial assistance of one sort or another, arms support, etc.) yeah, I think the GOV was planning to help the FARC, and while things have gone quiet for the moment as a result of the laptops, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Chavez tried to restart this sort of thing in the future.

    On the Ecuadorian side, I think it’s probable that the FARC contributed to Correa’s presidential campaign, as alluded to in laptop docs. Given the structure of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and the Constituent Assembly, though (decir, they’re both controlled by Correa allies), this link will never be investigated.

    Finally, as I said earlier, this whole affair isn’t over yet, by a long shot. If I were the GOC, I’d not only be dribbling docs out over time to keep the subject alive, I’d be holding the most damaging docs for release at a later date most apt to damage Chavez and/or Correa and benefit the interests of the GOC. Stay tuned…..

  33. Slave Revolt Says:

    God forbid that Chavez has made a strong mark on Correa.

    Isn’t it interesting how the empire can have strong ties, and Euro or US presidents can leave ’strong marks’ on their allies–but when nationalist leaders of colonies engage similarly, then they are suspect.

    Unity is healthy and important–especially if it is unity that resists hegemony and increases the general welfare of the people, not just the traditional elites.

    US policy in this region has been a drag on these nations’ potential–and they are learning and maneuvering to cast off this yoke.

    The magic lap-top machinations are all part of the great game–and it is just as lame as the yellow-cake uranium find a couple of months back. That had me rolling–and it had no legs. LOL

    At least the magic lap-top they can squeeze out to attack Chavez over a sustained period.

    If they find porno on this lap-top–how long can they play this up by releasing juicy pics of Venezuelan chicks? Jeez, this would be good for a couple of years. The possiblities are endless with what they can do with the magic laptop.

    psychological operations are really lame under Bush, but at least they are entertaining.

  34. Slave Revolt Says:

    Tampoxi, of course there is an affinity between all these entities: they are on the left and opposed to US meddling and imperialism in the region.

    Colombia has become a client state, a base for US violence in the region.

    Please, your spewing common truths as though you are unveiling secrets.

    Truth: the US has a history of brazen criminality in the region. LOL

    Truth: many in these societies collude with the US to exploit resources and labor–much of this is super exploitation.

    Truth: Colombia is a terror state where the ruling class murders leftists as a matter of course.

    Just because the corporate media doesn’t spell out certain facts doesn’t mean that you are incapable of reading between the lines.

  35. Paul Says:

    Slave Revolt still as cartoonish with his rhetoric as ever. You still telling everyone, from your Florida residence, you’re an American ex-pat “adopted by the Nicaraguan people?”

  36. Boli-Nica Says:

    In terms of the substance of the emails it is key that these are internal memos w/in the FARC secretariat (i.e. the politburo) – including “the boss of bosses” Manuel Marulanda.a/k/a Tirofijo. Within secrecy parameters, they had to be as precise as possible transmitting information on meetings, those attending, proposals made, offers, money, etc. Try lying to Tirofijo and the Secretariat and you end up dead, if not see what Mono Jojoy did to some comrades who took 500k. And as good followers of Leninist “Democratic Centralism” control is at the top, and the movement speaks with one voice. Individual Secretariat members not called Tirofijo had to be careful in what proposals they transmitted, and in anything that could be seen as shifting positions.

  37. The prima facie fabrications of Chavez-FARC collusion « VEN CENTRAL                             &nb Says:

    [...] illustrate my point, one internet commenter, ‘Purple Library Guy’, writes here: The only thing, actually, that inclines me to a belief that this stuff is genuine is that it’s [...]

  38. Slave Revolt Says:

    I simply find it amazing, that given the circumstances in which this magic laptop came to light anyone would be giving creedence to this.

    This is not to say that authentic information isn’t here. But what is obvious is that this stuff is simply a part of the empire and its rightwing cohorts continuing propaganda wars.

    Chavez would be a fool to not make contacts with the Farc in Colombia–if for no other reason than to coordinate a response to attacks from the US through its stoodge/puppet client Colombia.

    And these intellectuals pretend that the US role in Colombia is in any way ethical or legit. Follow the money and understand who is subsidizing the analysis of this stuff.

    Doesn’t take a Phd in political science not to see the connection–in fact being inculcated into the empire’s worldview of power relations inclines one NOT to see that which is obvious.

    This is about using Colombia as a base of future operations and trying to isolate countries in the region that are beginning to wake up from the US sponsored nightmare of deathsquads and permanent immiseration.

  39. Chris Says:

    My assumptions about Correa are based in part on the significant support he’s received from Chavez in a number of ways. So much so that I beleive that without Chavez support Correa would not be where he is now, and would have a much more difficult time implementing some of his policies. I also point to Correa’s initial reaction to the death of Reyes, and his subsequent reaction following Chavez’s intervention. It seems to me that he initially voiced his own opinion, but made a quick 180 when the latter differed from Chavez’s reaction.

    I might be too harsh in characterizing Correa as Chavez’s lackey. Correa does set his own policy, he does have his own priorities, and does act in accordance with the latter; however, it seems abundantly clear to me that Correa depends on Chavez’s support and that Chavez is the more powerful of the two. So to some extent, Correa is to Chavez like Uribe is to Bush.

  40. Slave Revolt Says:

    Chris, you are correct in pointing out the surface mutualistic relationships, the Uribe/Bush and the Correa/Chavez.

    But place this into an historical narrative that focuses closely on the history of the region.

    Indeed, the US is more likened to the colonizers and teh empire model.

    Nothing suspect or wrong-headed about Ecuador and Venezuela breaking free from US influence. Especially given their behavior in Iraq, Panama, and Vietnam.

    One is advised to consider these evolving geopolitical dramas with an historical and ethical frame of judgement.

    Deletarious relationships will be cast off so that societies can merely survive.

    But the goal should be to thrive. And with this measure US lead capitalism has failed in dramatic fashion.

  41. Carlos H Says:

    It is useless to speak to Slave Revolt.

    For him, what is good for the revolution is perfect and justifies everything, even lying, and what is bad for the revolution is horrible, and more likely to be a lie than anything else.

    Nada más.

  42. Victor Aulestia Says:

    What stupid discussion about the documents. These are not pdfs obtained from Reyes puters. If you care to pay attention to the materials that the Army captured beside the computers and heavy duty LeCie external drives were hundreds of paper documents. The copies you see are from those documents. One can see that they were printed on a defective printer ( Have anyone of you have ever worked in the humid jungle of Colombia. printers do not last)
    I wonder how is that so called scholars can write academic papers without actually seeing and touching the evidence.

  43. Slave Revolt Says:

    Carlos, I am pointing up age-old imperialism.

    This is a propaganda war–and I am clearly a partisan for movements and people that resist being dominated, and that strive for more social and economic justice.

    The US has engaged in state terrorism, this isn’t even arguable, the history and the facts are simply beyond any dispute.

    Given the increasing ecological crisis, the threat of nuclear war, the increasing misery index around the world, etc.—I see capitalism as a massive failure, and its ideology is weak, its stalwart supporters are deluded fanatics. I view the Nazi ideology in much the same way–nothing good comes of it.

    For the record, I think that the Soviet Union’s imperials was equally pathological.

    Your discounting my views though your brazen distortion doesn’t contribute toward any meaningful discussion.

    I just find it predictable that the US and its client, Colombia, would manufacture and manipulate information to support their long-term goals in the region. Remember WMD’s?

    What I find fascinating is that, given the history of US black propaganda operations, people are so credulous about these matters. That’s all.

    My cards are on the table. I don’t support terrorism–on the part of the US or the FARC–but I understand that violence and terror begets more of the same.

    The gaol is to shine the light on the motives and ideals of the various players, and let people make informed, rational choices about what is best for themselves and the planet’s health over the long term. This is difficult to make a reality with imperialism and corporate propaganda.

    The goal should be to end imperialism, bring the perpetrators of state terror and thier collaborators to an international court and make examples of them.

    Of course, a good portion of the ruling elites in the Western world would have to be punished.

    The US disingenuously claims the mantel of being ‘against’ terror–when they routinely kill and maime innocet people to further their delusional and greedy lust for power.

    It is a testament to the power of cradle to grave propaganda that folks can’t see what is quite obvious.

    Every imperialist endeavor was wrapped in noble, patriotic ideals about bringing ‘freedom’ and civilization. Show me one that wasn’t.

    If what I say makes you uncomfortable, argue contra my points. I am open minded, and I can be convinced with compelling evidence backed up by a well developed, nuanced argument.

  44. No mas FARC? « Terrorisme dans le monde Says:

    [...] has a blog Plan Colombia and Beyond has put-up two very good and relevant posts on this subject see What the new FARC documents tell us May 11th and Promoting peace, or breaking the law? from May [...]

  45. Daniela Dominguez Says:

    Hello!
    My name is Daniela Dominguez from Minuto59, a Venezuelan digital newspaper. I want to contact you, please get back to me: daniela.dominguez@minuto59.com

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