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FARC Commander Kidnapped In Venezuela

FARC commander kidnapped in Venezuela

Venezuelan authorities last week confirmed allegations made by Colombia’s main guerrilla organisation FARC, that said that Venezuelan police officers, together with Colombian intelligence forces, captured a high-ranking rebel commander in downtown Caracas, Venezuela.

16.01.2005 [ANNCOL] Rodrigo Granda, better known by his nom de guerre »Ricardo« was kidnapped in the middle of the day, on December 13, a few days after attending a conference of Latin American supporters of the Bolivarian project. Two days later, on December 15, Colombian authorities announced that they had captured Granda in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

In a communiqué released December 30th Secretariat of the Central General Staff of the FARC stated, “Colombian National Police Chief Gen. Jorge Daniel Castro, without blushing before the cameras, lied to Colombians and to the world when he said Ricardo Granda was captured in Cucuta after returning from Venezuela.”

The FARC communiqué goes on to say that:

“Comrade Ricardo was fulfilling tasks in the International Commission by trying to seek diplomatic relations with governments and political and popular organizations interested in contributing to the reconciliation and the peace between Colombians. He was interviewed by many representatives of other governments, intellectuals and political forces that in many cases are in solidarity with our organization.”

As a service to our readers, ANNCOL publishes a translation of the communiqué:

***

ABDUCTION IN DOWNTOWN CARACAS

1. The abduction of Ricardo in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, last December 13 by the Colombian intelligence services, and his immediate deportation to our nation, relied upon gringo orientation and the complicit support of corrupt sectors of the Venezuelan police. Comrade Ricardo was carrying out tasks of the International Commission for the purpose of pursuing political-diplomatic relations with friendly governments and political and popular organizations interested in contributing to definitive reconciliation and peace among Colombians.

2. Without blushing before the cameras, police commander General Jorge Daniel Castro lied to Colombia and the world when he claimed that Ricardo was captured in Cúcuta when he returned from Venezuela, thus trying to hide the operations of his agents outside Colombia that lack the authorization of his counterparts.

3. This abduction, like the previous capture of Simón Trinidad [a senior FARC peace envoy to the UN] in Quito, Ecuador, favours Álvaro Uribe Vélez’s democratic security policy and the most backward interests of the Ecuadorian, Venezuelan and Colombian oligarchy to the benefit of the voracity, expansion and intervention of U.S. imperialism in Colombia’s internal conflict.

4. By invitation of the bolivarian organizations meeting in Venezuela and with the approval of authorities of the government of that country, Ricardo participated in the Second Bolivarian Congress of the Peoples, held in Caracas December 8 and 9, as well as taking part in various interviews with representatives of other governments, intellectuals and political forces, in many cases requested by them of our organization.

5. In the face of what happened in Caracas with the abduction of Ricardo, we request that the bolivarian government of Venezuela adopt a clear position with respect to the guarantees for the other bolivarian organizations that may visit there to participate in future events programmed by the bolivarians of its country. What happened to Ricardo is a deplorable precedent that needs to be clarified as rapidly as possible for the purpose of clearing up doubts and suspicions inherent to this inexplicable event, and because it constitutes a grave offense to the bolivarian movement of the three fraternal countries fathered by the Liberator.

6. We request effective solidarity for Ricardo and Simón from all the bolivarians, communists, left forces, social and popular organizations, personalities, lawyers, intellectuals and friends of the peace with social justice for which we, the members of the FARC, make legitimate use of the universal right to Rebellion.

Secretariat of the Central General Staff of the FARC-EP Mountains of Colombia, December 30, 2004


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