Hero Hugo Hails Agreement With FARC For Hostage Release
Hugo Chavez says he has secured the release of 3 top FARC hostages.
Hugo Chavez was meeting with the FARC terrorist leaders in Venezuela last month until Colombia got tired of the Chavez propping up the terror leaders.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (R) and senior rebel commander Ivan Marquez of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) walk at Miraflores Palace in Caracas November 8, 2007. (Reuters)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he reached an agreement with Colombia’s largest guerrilla group over the release of three hostages and hopes they will be freed within hours.
The accord reached with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has been sent to Colombia’s government for approval, Chavez said at a Caracas news conference today. The president said he’s ready to receive hostages “in coming hours.”
Chavez’s involvement comes a month after Colombian President Alvaro Uribe pulled support for Chavez’s role as a mediator with the Marxist guerrillas to help negotiate a swap of 45 hostages for 500 jailed rebels. The release of the three captives could lead to another group being freed later, “hopefully” including former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, Chavez said.
“The only thing we’re waiting on is the green light from Colombia,” Chavez said. “We’re ready to activate the humanitarian operation.” The president said he will seek to remain involved in negotiations to win the release of additional captives.
The guerrillas said last week they would free Clara Rojas, a former vice presidential candidate, her 3-year-old son Emmanuel, and former lawmaker Consuelo Gonzales.
“This year will end as a good one,” Ivan Rojas, Clara’s brother told Bogota-based W Radio. “It’s an important step toward the future release of other kidnap victims, hopefully of all.”
It ought to be interesting to hear the Colombian government’s reaction to this latest news. Last week FARC announced that President Uribe must step down in order for there to be a hostage release.
Last month popular pro-American Colombian President Alvaro Uribe blasted Chavez for lending legitimacy to the Communist terrorist group. In response, Hugo announced that he would “Not talk to Uribe for as long as I live!”… It looks like that promise is about to end.
FARC terrorists failed in their attempt to kidnap President Uribe’s sons earlier this month.
FARC is still holding American hostages.
Gonsalves, Stansell and Howes were doing drug surveillance for the Department of Defense when they were taken hostage in February. The single-engine plane carrying them and two other men crashed in a remote, mountainous region south of Colombia’s capital, Bogota. Almost four years later they are still being held by FARC.
UPDATE… The BBC is reporting that Colombia has approved the hostage plan.