A couple of days ago, I translated a denunciation by Venezualan acting president, Nicolás Maduro, of a Salvadoran terrorist cell believed to be working for his opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski. Today, the president of El Salvador is doing his part to help his Venezuelan counterpart get to the bottom of it all:
Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes ordered an investigation into the denunciations of the government of Venezuela into the participation of sectors of the Salvadoran right-wing in plans to destabilize the South American country, which is in the midst of an election campaign.
“We will investigate the denunciation by president Maduro of a plan to assassinate him,” said Funes, during an interview with the Mundo Fox Informa channel.
“The least we can do, as a friendly government, is to initiate an investigation to determine the existence or non-existence of these criminal structures,” he added, according to the digital newspaper, La Página.
Funes informed that he had asked his foreign minister, Hugo Martínez, to “ask the Venezuelan foreign ministry and intelligence services to pass on all the information brought forward by President Maduro when he made this statement.”
“Maduro strikes me as a serious person, and for that reason, not one to make a denunciation just for the sake of doing so,” said the president, and added that the denunciations are related to an important Salvadoran deputy, Roberto D’Aubuisson.
“Son of the founder of the ARENA party (Roberto D’Aubuisson Arrieta), who, in the past, was involved with death squads and the assassination of Oscar Arnulfo Romero. The son of the deputy D’Aubuisson was killed in Guatemala by assassins linked to narcotrafficking,” said the president.
Funes also announced that he had instructed the National Civil Police (PNC) to start an official investigation, “so that if we have to go to court with it, we will,” he said.
Funes recognized that El Salvador has a past history of involvement “in this type of terrorist actions”, such as those in which Luis Posada Carriles took part, one of those denounced by Venezuela.
Funes also recalled that there had been plans to assassinate Fidel Castro, then president of Cuba, in Panama during the Ibero-American Summit of 2000, by a terrorist group commanded by Posada Carriles.
“Where did Posada Carriles depart from? From here, in El Salvador. Who provided him with an identification card and a passport so he could travel as a Salvadoran? Authorities and functionaries of the ARENA party, which ruled this country at the time,” Funes said.
“How did Posada Carriles get around here? With vehicles and safe houses provided by ARENA, at the time that ARENA ruled here, during the reign of former president Francisco Flores,” Funes added. “Therefore, with those antecedents, we have something to investigate.”
Funes says that the least that could be done responsibly “if those groups have operated in the past with the intent of sabotaging the internal processes of Cuba, and if they also tried in the past to assassinate the president of Cuba, if there are Salvadoran prisoners in Cuba for placing explosive charges in hotels.”
Funes said that another Salvadoran, Francisco Chávez Abarca, was arrested in Venezuela when he was identified for trying to provoke an attempt on the life of president Hugo Chávez.
El Salvador has a lot of reckoning yet to be done, clearly, for its right-wing death-squad past. Funes’s own party was one of the squads’ targets back then, so it stands to reason that there is no love lost between him and ARENA. And the D’Aubuisson family, too, remains a regional threat, as active meddlers in foreign politics.
As for Luis Posada Carriles, he’s still living illegally in Florida, totally untouched and totally in the face of local authorities. Whereas any other Latin American coming in illegally would have faced prompt deportation, the right-wing ex-Cuban Posada is being mollycoddled something shameful. And I don’t think it’s because he’s an old man and frail, either. He’s well enough to parade the streets in broad daylight whenever there’s an anti-Castro march or demonstration going on. He’s not the least bit afraid to show his blotchy, pitted face, because he knows the authorities won’t touch an old CIA asset, no matter how big an embarrassment he gets to be.
Or, in the case of his latest attempt on the life of a Venezuelan leader friendly with the Brothers Castro, an ongoing diplomatic liability and a threat to hemispheric public safety.