President Chavez has repeatedly denied that Venezuela provided any kind of material support to the FARC and that the only contacts his government has had with the FARC was to facilitate the release of hostages held by the FARC. In early 2008 Chavez managed to convince the FARC to release six out of 45 of its high profile hostages.
Two weeks ago, Interior Minister Rodriguez Chacín said he had met personally with FARC leaders during the negotiations of hostage releases which Colombia invited Venezuela to help mediate last August. Rodriguez Chacín assured that the "only contacts" President Chávez had with the FARC were at the request of the Colombian government for the sake of the peace process.
There. So, what’s this about a need to “clarify” something? It’s been clear for, oh, like FOREVER.
On the other hand, it looks to me like HRW has some clearing-up of its own to do:
Colombia claims to have found the documents in laptop computers picked up from the wreckage of the FARC camp inside Ecuador that Colombia bombarded March 1st, where FARC commander Raul Reyes, the alleged owner of the laptops and chief negotiator of hostage releases, was killed.
HRW has not had direct access to the computer files, according to the organization’s press release Tuesday. Requests for access to these files, even by Colombian Supreme Court, have so far gone unheeded by the Colombian and U.S. governments, in whose custody the files remain.
According to HRW, the excerpts of emails made public by Colombia indicate that the FARC met personally with top Venezuelan officials including President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan Generals Hugo Carvajal Barrios, and Clíver Alcalá Cordones, and the Minister of Justice and the Interior Ramón Rodríguez Chacín.
Vivanco demanded that Venezuela verify if such meetings actually took place, and if so, Venezuela should reveal what was discussed in those meetings.
I demand that HRW clarify its relations with the Colombian government, and why it is so strangely content to make so many nasty accusations against Venezuela based on such paltry and doubtful evidence. I demand that they make it their policy not to accuse people of doing things they haven’t done, especially if those people are guilty of nothing worse than not living up to the demands of the State Dept. I also demand that they stop making demands of Venezuela to put laws in place to stop things that are actually not going on.
Unfortunately, I don’t expect them to fulfill those honest demands any more than Venezuela will be bothered with their spurious ones.