INTERPOL will formally present the public report and findings on its forensic examination of seized FARC computers and hardware to the Colombian government at the headquarters of the Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad (DAS) in Bogota at 10 am local time (15:00 GMT) on Thursday 15 May, 2008. This presentation immediately will be followed by a press conference. The public report will be posted on the INTERPOL web site.
The classified report will be delivered to the Colombian authorities beforehand, says INTERPOL. But our sources in Bogota say the classified report already has been delivered to the Colombian government, so it’s very likely the US government already has a copy of the classified report given by INTERPOL to the government of President Alvaro Uribe Velez.
The INTERPOL reports (classified and public) cover the content data of three laptop computers, three USB pen drives and two external hard disks seized by Colombian security forces on 1 March,, 2008 when they retrieved the corpse of slain FARC chieftain Raul Reyes from a FARC base camp in Ecuador.
Under the terms of the agreement signed with Colombia’s government in Bogota on Wednesday 12 March, INTERPOL’s assistance included the deployment of an Incident Response Team (IRT) to Bogota to obtain mirror images of the content data of the laptops, pen drives and external hard disks in order to carry out an independent computer forensic technical examination of that content data.
President Hugo Chavez has been claiming since Reyes was killed that the documents are “false…forgeries…part of an Imperialist US plan” to isolate, discredit and destabilize Venezuela. A similar defense has been launched in Ecuador by President Rafael Correa. But facts are facts.
The US government received the same, identical mirror images of the data INTERPOL is studying, and US intelligence sources already have concluded that “thousands of documents” extracted from the laptops and other data storage devices are legitimate.
The documents confirm what most Venezuelans and Colombians have known for many years. President Hugo Chavez is actively supporting and cooperating with the FARC, which is designated an international drug trafficking and terrorist organization.
The captured documents published so far, and over 100 more reviewed privately by the Wall Street Journal, confirm the following:
· Chavez offered the FARC between $250 million and $300 million in financial aid to buy weapons and other military supplies.
· Chavez offered the FARC the port of Maracaibo to facilitate the transportation of illicitly acquired weapons through Venezuelan territory to Colombia.
· Senior Venezuelan military officers offered to help the FARC hide illegal weapons shipments inside containers of weapons Venezuela has purchased legally from Russia.
· Chavez offered to help the FARC acquire rocket-propelled grenades (RPG’s) and portable surface-to-air missiles.
· Chavez has provided top FARC leaders with long-term sanctuary and protection in Venezuelan territory.
· Chavez asked the FARC to provide “guerrilla warfare training” to Venezuelan military personnel and civilian reservist groups.
· Chavez also raised the possibility of developing a joint Venezuela-FARC regional security plan.
· Chavez pledged he would pressure in favor of the FARC’s international recognition as a legitimate political belligerent organization.
The captured data also confirms that Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa was actively cooperating with the FARC to destabilize Colombia’s democratically elected government. In fact, Correa was so keen to embrace the FARC that he offered to allow FARC-designated personnel to engage in social organizing, education and support activities in northern Ecuador’s provinces bordering Colombia. Correa’s emissary was very obsequious, literally asking Reyes, “How can we help you?”
Hopefully, all of the data reviewed by INTERPOL will be posted on the Internet quickly. Colombia should ensure none of the data is withheld from public scrutiny. Hopefully, Latin American governments which have routinely looked the other way on regional security matters involving President Chavez and his illegal involvement with the FARC will reassess the situation, and will start to behave responsibly. Otherwise, they would be guilty of treason against their own peoples.
But we don’t have any expectations about other Latin American governments, which have mainly pursued a foreign policy which appeals to a flock of ostriches. With the sole exception of the Uribe government in Colombia, the “democratic” governments of South America are a feckless bunch of gutless politicos without the courage to take a stand in defense of true democratic values. Chavez has been intervening freely everywhere he wishes in Latin America.
Many Venezuelans and Colombians may be surprised by the depth of Chavez’s engagement with the FARC after the captured documents are published. But they certainly aren’t surprised that Chavez is in cahoots with a criminal narco-terrorist group like the FARC. Chavez’s personal engagement with the FARC has been a matter of public record in this region since the early 1990s.
The US government’s possible response to the INTERPOL report confirming the authenticity of the capture FARC data remains unknown. But US intelligence analysts have already concluded the data is legitimate, truthful and real – meaning none of it was forged.
An unnamed US intelligence official told the Wall Street Journal the data also shows the FARC is willing to purchase any weapons at any price – including “dirty” weapons. In effect, Chavez’s FARC allies would detonate a nuclear device if they could obtain one.
Chavez can feint, dodge, bluster and threaten all he wants. But Hugo finally got caught with his pants around his ankles, so to speak, and his criminally soiled political undergarments are about to be hung out on the Internet, for all of the world to look at in great detail.
We can only speculate about the names linked to incriminating information which these documents may contain. But Correa’s personal complicity with the FARC certainly will be confirmed, which explains why he is escalating a hysterical war of words with Colombia.
Correa knows his future as Ecuador’s president is at great risk. He could be removed at any time by Ecuador’s military, and no one will lament his ouster except the idiot communists who mistakenly think they have a mandate to turn Ecuador into a socialist state.
But Chavez’s problems potentially are much greater. Chavez is only a couple of steps removed from becoming an international pariah. He is certainly a candidate for sanctions under the OAS Democratic Charter.
The captured FARC documents dispel any remaining doubts about Chavez. Venezuela’s president is officially in league with drug traffickers and terrorists determined to destabilize Colombia’s democracy.
In fact, the activities Chavez has engaged in with the FARC, such as offering the narco-terrorist group up to $300 million in direct financial assistance, are illegal under Bolivarian Venezuela’s constitution and its laws. His criminal actions extend to theft of public property, misappropriation of funds, participating in an ongoing criminal conspiracy, and state treason.
The captured documents also confirm how incredibly clumsy and, yes, stupid, President Chavez has been in his dealings with the FARC. Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has been conspiring all over the region for a half-century and has never been caught like Chavez was caught.
The US government sent its best intelligence assets on a hunt for smoking guns to implicate Castro in crimes of international drug trafficking and terrorism, and the “hunters” didn’t find anything that would stand up in an international court of law.
But Castro’s anointed successor as leader of the revolution in the Americas – Hugo Chavez – was snagged hook, line and sinker.
Chavez has nowhere to run, and there is nothing he can say to dispel the truth: Venezuela’s president is supporting the international criminals, drug traffickers and terrorists who belong to the FARC.