FARC & Venezuela: arrested leader had dual citizenship
By Aleksander Boyd
London 07.01.05 | Prensa Latina reports today that the lawyer of arrested FARC leader Ricardo Granda informed that Granda had both Colombian and Venezuelan citizenship. Lawyer Miguel Gonzalez expressed that his client is Colombian by birth and Venezuelan by adoption, whatever that means. Furthermore, Gonzalez is quoted saying that Granda did not need entry permits to Venezuela for he resides in that country. Granda's Venezuelan ID number was mentioned by his lawyer as 22.118.142.
On other news, member of Colombia's Congress Foreign Affairs Commission Jimmy Chamorro declared that the Granda's capture in Caracas is but another proof of the close relationship between the Chavez' regime and top FARC leaders.
Pro chavista newspaper Ultimas Noticias published an interview this morning with MVR Congresswoman Marelis Pérez Marcano in which she admits that Granda lived in Venezuela "since years ago" [sic]. Later in the day Pérez Marcano backpedalled arguing that she had never made such claims. "In my condition as coordinator of the Bolivarian Congress, I was immediately approached by Granda for he was eager to participate; he told me he was with the revolutionary movement of Colombia to which I replied that all participants had already been selected based upon the invitations that were sent and consequently he could not take part in the event, however I understand that he did participate both as public and as a member of one of the discusion tables" [sic].
Minister of Interior Jessy Chacon declared that allegations made with respect to possible connections between the Venezuelan government and the FARC are preposterous. However the organizer of the event, MVR Congresswoman Marelis Pérez Marcano, admitedly have an encounter with Granda, days before his arrest, and failed to notify the authorities about his presence in Venezuela. No connections eh? By the way how come Granda has a Venezuelan ID? Taking into account the number, it is clear indication of the lax security measures of the expeditious nationalisation process that Chavez put into place just before the recall referendum, otherwise how can one explain that a man of such age has an ID starting in 22 million? Could it be that Granda, as Montesinos before him, was given a Venezuelan ID by the regime?
Some other assistants to the Congress beg to differ with the official version of events though, as to whether or not Granda was part of the Bolivarian celebration.
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