Alvaro Vargas Llosa thinks so,
The Spanish Noose Around Chavez’s Neck
An investigation triggered by the contents of computer files captured during a raid on a guerrilla camp in Ecuador has now suggested a Venezuelan link between the ETA terrorist organization in Spain and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. A Spanish court’s decision to indict 13 Spaniards and Colombians as a result of that investigation should shame those who questioned the validity of the computer files at the time of the raid. Among those indicted is Arturo Cubillas Fontan, an ETA member employed by Venezuela’s Ministry of Agriculture and married to Goizeber Odriozola, the chief of staff of Hugo Chavez. Cubillas, believed to be the main contact between the FARC and ETA, is accused in the indictment of coordinating the training of ETA members in urban guerrilla warfare. The indictment also alleges that the FARC sought logistical help from ETA in Madrid in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
The Spanish investigation got under way thanks to evidence obtained by Colombia after the 2008 raid on the camp controlled by Raul Reyes, a key FARC commander. Colombian troops found 17,000 files and 37,000 documents in three satellite computers, two external hard disks and three memory sticks. Once Dipol, the Colombian secret service, studied the content, Interpol was brought in to authenticate the files and confirm that Colombia had not tampered with them. Colombia then discreetly shared relevant parts with the countries named in the files.
What was disclosed in the media was only part of a gold mine of information about the structure, the funding and the international connections of the Colombian terrorists.
How damning is the information?
And yet the evidence was overwhelming. Among other witnesses, Bertrand de la Grange, an authoritative investigative journalist, gained access to the files—which had survived the attack because they were held in metallic suitcases. His first reports were published in Mexico’s Letras Libres and then picked up around the world. They explained the “five rings” of the FARC’s structure, including “Ring 3,” which operated out of Venezuela with Chavez’s help, and “Ring 5,” which spread its tentacles to 15 countries, among them Spain. The author concluded that there was “a network of international complicity of unsuspected dimensions.”
I asked de la Grange how decisive the information in the computer files was for Spain’s National Court’s investigation. “It was the main evidence,” he told me. “Those files had already led to the arrest of Remedios Garcia for aiding FARC in Spain and helped dismantle several networks of support for FARC in Europe.”
What does Chavez have to say? Absolutely nothing. He won’t respond to this very serious case because he finds the subject very stupid.