Monday, June 9, 2008

U.S., Colombians back Chavez gesture at FARC

The U.S. and Colombian governments backed Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ request that the FARC end their armed struggle. “Those are certainly good words,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack though he also alluded to several media reports claiming close ties between Chavez and the Colombian rebels.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s government “welcomed” Chavez’ remarks though Interior minister Carlos Holguin added a dig at Chavez by claiming that his words were “surprising” since he’s a “great defender and ally” of the FARC.

Chavez used an interesting personal anecdote in calling for the FARC to lay down their weapons:

'Having a group of people, especially civilians but also members of the military, up a mountain is not the same as being in jail. I was in prison two-and-a-half years (for a failed coup attempt in 1992), but my wife came to see me everyday, and my parents on weekends,' Chavez said Sunday in his weekly television programme Alo Presidente.

'I think time has come for FARC to release all the hostages they have there in the mountains. It would be a great humanitarian gesture, in exchange for nothing,' Chavez insisted.

Sources- The Latin Americanist, AFP, BBC News,, Washington Post, Monsters & Critics, Reuters

Image- Wall Street Journal

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