Chávez and Colombia
May 16, 2008; Wall Street Journal
Interpol yesterday issued its findings on the authenticity of the computer files seized from Colombian terrorists in March, and they won't make Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez's day.
"We are absolutely certain that the computer exhibits that our experts examined came from a FARC terrorist camp," said Robert Noble, head of the international police agency. "No one can ever question whether or not the Colombian government tampered with the seized FARC computers."
Mr. Chávez has denied the link between his government – and himself personally – and the drug-dealing FARC, a Marxist "liberation" group that has terrorized Colombia for decades. He claims that the documents seized earlier this year in a Colombian military raid in Ecuador are forgeries designed to prepare an invasion of Venezuela by the Bush Administration. No doubt he'll stick to that story. If so, he'll have to add Interpol – and the Australian and Singaporean forensic experts who examined the files – to the list of conspirators.
Among other things, the documents detail personal meetings between Mr. Chávez and senior FARC leaders and the provision of money and materiel to the "rebels." Of a $250 million "loan" from Venezuela to FARC, Venezuela's Interior Minister wrote in one email, "Don't think of it as a loan, think of it as solidarity." The documents also describe Venezuela providing FARC with rocket-propelled grenades – and training in the Middle East on how to use them to shoot down Colombian military aircraft.
Interpol's certification proves that Mr. Chávez is trying to destabilize a U.S. ally. Maybe even Bill Delahunt (D., Mass.) and Mr. Chávez's other friends in the U.S. Congress will now have second thoughts about doing business with a proven supporter of terrorism in our own hemisphere.