Contacts with Colombian rebels terminated: ChavezApril 28th, 2008 - 3:36 pm ICT by admin
Caracas, April 28 (IANS) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said all channels of communication he had with Colombian rebel guerrillas have been cut off. “We lost the contact that we had with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). We had set up a system of contacts that was smashed,” Chavez said in his Sunday radio and television show “Alo Presidente!”, Spain’s EFE news agency reported Monday.
The Venezuelan leader was referring to the discussion he had with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson on the Colombian problem a day ago.
Chavez said Richardson asked for his cooperation to move towards a humanitarian accord with FARC whereby the rebels would release all the hostages that it is holding.
But he replied that the situation has become “very difficult” as he lost the contacts he had with the rebel group.
Chavez, however, assured the US official that he would continue his efforts to broker a peace deal between the Colombian government and the rebels in a bid to secure the release of the captives.
Chavez carried out a successful mediation effort in the Colombian conflict that resulted in the unilateral release of six hostages by FARC, with whom he had maintained lines of communication.
The initiative to achieve a prisoner swap aborted in November last year, when the Colombian government annulled the authorization it had given to Chavez to act as a mediator.