continues to lose ground inside Colombia, and is calling in more outside help
to force the government to set up a "liberated zone" in the south,
where the rebels could be free of constant army patrols and raids. Venezuela
has offered to help mediate, and arrange a swap of jailed rebels for kidnap
victims, and the establishment of the liberated zone. Leftist Venezuelan
president Hugo Chavez, who is trying to change the law so he can be president
for life, is happy to help the leftist FARC become stronger. Chavez has made no
secret of his desire to establish leftist dictatorships all across South
America. FARC is also calling on its leftist allies in the U.S. to put pressure
on the Colombian government to ease up on military operations, and cut back on
U.S. aid to the government.
Meanwhile, the criminal
activities of the Colombian leftists are spilling over into Venezuela.
Colombian leftist rebels (the ELN) are being accused of kidnapping four
Portuguese citizens near the Colombian border. ELN denies it, and it's possible
that the kidnappers are former ELN. At the moment, the ELN is in worse shape
than FARC, and losing many members as a result.