WASHINGTON (AFP) – Two lawmakers Friday introduced a resolution calling for Venezuela to be added to a US list of state sponsors of terrorism amid allegations linking Caracas to Colombia’s leftist FARC rebels.
“Evidence that the Venezuelan government might have given aid and comfort to violent extremists is reprehensible and must not be ignored,” said Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, ranking Republican in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
The proposed resolution the Cuban-American lawmaker co-sponsored with Connie Mack, a leading critic of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, came after Colombia charged that computers seized from a rebel camp showed links between Chavez and the FARC.
“For more than 40 years, the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) has waged a brutal and debilitating war against the people of Colombia,” Ros-Lehtinen said on presenting her resolution in Congress.
The Marxist FARC rebel group, Colombia’s oldest and strongest, is listed as a terrorist group by the US and Europe, despite Chavez’s insistence they be recognized as a legitimate army with “a political project” meriting respect.