Looks like a false alarm. The man hospitalized in Rubia is not FARC leader Joaquín Gómez. The other story, that Colombia was closing in on another secret FARC leader Alfonso Cano is also unknown, although there are also reports that he was wounded in a helicopter attack on February 21.
Venezuela and Colombia collaborated carefully to bring the matter to a close. This is a positive sign. Also, something (perhaps the heavy guard around the patient) sparked these rumors. Something odd is up and is probably worth keeping an eye on.
the guy is a mid-level farc member. that we know
Aaron, this is the analysis sent by Chavez’ top lobbyst in D.C., Segundo Mercaro-Llorens to the Venezuelan embassy and Miraflores presidential palace. Segundo has since resigned from his Chavez gig and is now focused on stopping Colombia FTA … he is from PR.
There is no question that Uribe emerges as the winner in the first
phase of AndesGate. Before the “left” roundly boos me (an anti-Uribe
lobbyist) here are a few reasons why Uribe can reasonably be thought
to be the winner:
First, Colombia violated the sovereignty of another Latin American
country, and in return it received a mild “slap on the wrist” by the
OAS. The failure of the OAS to condemn, what was, on the surface,
essentially a Latin American version of Bush’s “doctrine of
pre-emption” is a victory for Colombia. The actual resolution that
passed the OAS was quite mild indeed. It was mild because no
international tribunal was going to condemn Colombia, once Colombia
made public documents which purported to show support for an
anti-government insurgency by Venezuela and Ecuador. The OAS
resolution, in effect, was a statement by other Latin American
governments that while Colombia was indeed in tecnical violation of
international law, the OAS was not prepared to condemn one party,
while others may also have come to that body with “unclean hands.”
Support for the FARC is itself a violation of Colombian sovereignty,
and an “act of war.” Once the documents were revealed the OAS was not
about to embrace either Venezuela and Ecuador by condemning Colombia.
Second, It was obvious that Colombia decided to launch an incursion
into Ecuador, and take the temporary “hit”, guessing that the military
gains would outweigh the diplomatic losses. It guessed correctly
Third, Word from the OAS is that Venezuela was basically told by
other countries to “stay out” of the debate, so that it could be
conducted as an Ecuador vs. Colombia matter. This is not exactly a
diplomatic vote of confidence for Venezuela.
Fourth, While Uribe sustained a mild rebuke by the OAS, he is now able
to advance on a much larger field using the captured Reyes documents
as a kind of water torture against Venezuela and Ecuador, leaking
parts “drop by drop” to have a continuing public relations assault on
Venezuela or Ecuador. Needless to say, victory for Colombia here
depends on Interpol’s declaring the documents authentic. If the
documents are not “authentic” then Colombia will lose beyond measure.
But, if the documents are declared “authentic” then the gains by
Colombia will depend on what is revealed in the documents. If
“authentic” then Venezuela, and Ecuador have a lot to worry about.
Fifth, Colombia is able to open up a new front in its fight for the
Colombia Free Trade Agreement, one that could conceivably result in
Colombia/Bush scaring up enough votes to pass the Colombia FTA. It
won’t be easy for Colombia, but it now has a slim chance, whereas
before it had no chance of passing the FTA. As well, it should be
noted that every rhetorical assault by Chavez against Uribe, only
helps the chances of passage for Colombia’s FTA. At this point, that
FTA’s biggest advantage is Chavez’s lack of any semblance of
rhetorical discipline; conversely, that FTA’s biggest disadvantage is
Uribe’s hubris, and his government’s clear ties to the right-wing
Finally, Colombia’s gains can only be multiplied by the material
discovered in the Reyes documents, assuming the documents are
authentic. If I were Venezuela and Ecuador, I would hardly be in a
position, as a result of this crisis, to dance in the streets
declaring victory. After all, Chavez’s rhetorical support of the
FARC, combined with whatever is found in the Reyes documents stands to
place Chavez in the public mind as a champion of a highly unpopular
guerrilla movement, known more for its drug dealing, than for its
ideological acuity. This can hardly be considered a favorable outcome
As they say in tennis, “Advantage, Uribe.”
Thanks, this is important stuff and I’ll post on it fully later.
Watch for the white-shoe lawyers and slick PR spin-masters who, when hired, can really disassemble the FARC docs. Unless Chavez got stupid – this will happen.
Aaron, the first proof of Chavez support for Farc was delivered to US DOS and CIA in 2002 by General Nestor Gonzalez Gonzalez (in hiding).
Checkout the PDF which is a sample of the docs delivered
Miami Herald also had access to the original files but did nothing … the environment was not right in 2002 to start making accusations but in the case of the Miami Herald, they were chickenshits who did not know how to proceed with the info.
Just wanted to mention that it is interesting that your profile of MidEast terror groups did not include the MKO which is a powerful US-backed Islamo-Socialist terrorist organization with its own press office in Wachington D.C. that the US uses against Iran and who are currently under US protection in camp Ashraf Iraq.
The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI, also MEK, MKO) (Persian: سازمان مجاهدين خلق ايران sāzmān-e mojāhedin-e khalq-e irān) is a paramilitary Islamic Socialist organization that advocates the overthrow of Iran’s current government.
Thanks for the many great comments.
Quick note – MEK are strange and nasty. Not including them in my book was an oversight. I don’t follow them carefully (except to steer clear of any organization associated with them) because I simply have to conserve my time.
here you go
Aaron, do you think this is being coordinated with the administration?
also, did you read what justin raimundo wrote at anti-war? I though t he was smarter than that. he really let his colors show
I’m in miami and will be voting against ross and diaz-balarts … they have been there too long.
the beauty about the web is that it allows you to cut through the bullshit and read what’s really on people’s minds
trial under fire for chavez. if he does not hand over the guerillas then it is confirmed: Chavez is Farc.
No solamente que lo sabian , sino que versiones de pobladores del pueblo confirmaron a inteligencia que fue un helicoptero del ejercito de Venezuela el que traslado a los guerrilleros desde el sitio donde los habian herido. En combate, con una columna de los paramilitares o el ejercito Colombiano
Now that it looks like there are two FARCistas in Chavez’s custody let’s see what he does.
House Resolutions do not carry any legal weight – their importance is symbolic. I think the U.S. should play the terrorism list game very carefully because (not that I doubt Chavez’s complicity) it may be counterproductive.
But a little good cop/bad cop might be effective with the list as well.
I’ve seen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speak and thought she was really impressive. But all politics is local.
I don’t read Justin Raimondo – he gives me heartburn.
aaron, here is the latest semi-official English language version of Posada:
it fails to mention the first trial which lasted 8 years and saw him acquitted. He was sprung out of prison before the second (double jeopardy) trial with knoweledge and permission of Bush Sr and the US ambasador Reich. Notice that they fail to mention first trial and acquittal.
Then they accuse him of 40 more murders … that is new.
The fact is that Hugo Chavez is just as guilty as Posada. Chavez will never escape international criminal courts for Human Rights violations which have no statue-of-limitations starting with his orders to military snipers on April 11, 2002 to fire and kill unarmed civilians marching on the presidential palace.
The facts and names of those responsible are well known.
April 6th update: