Colombia: January 6, 2005


Rodrigo Granda, a FARC leader the government said it captured along the Venezuelan border on December 13, appears to have been seized in the Venezuelan capital, with the help of some Venezuelan police. This is a problem for Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who is an energetic leftist. Chavez has split Venezuelan society, driving several hundred thousand middle class citizens into exile each year. Chavez is introducing laws that limit press freedom and confiscates land from wealthy landowners. FARC and ELN consider Chavez an ally, but Chavez denies this. Unfortunately, a large chunk of Chavez's Venezuelan supporters are leftists. Even more unfortunately, FARC and ELN are generally seen, worldwide, as terrorist organizations. Chavez is also chummy with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who is also shunned as one of the last dictators in the western hemisphere. Chavez has long been suspected of supporting FARC and ELN whenever he could get away with it. Now the world waits to see what he does when Venezuelans take action against FARC and ELN.


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