Sunday, March 02, 2008

Drug Dealing FARC Terrorist-Kidnapper Raul Reyes Killed by Columbian Army

FARC Terrorist Raul Reyes

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is having a fit of hysterics because the Columbian Army has reportedly killed the FARC terrorist Raul Reyes and perhaps 16 comrades. Reyes was reportedly killed when the Columbian Airforce fired on the FARC camp in Equador from Columbian airspace.

Reyes, who often delivered anti-capitalist messages on the FARC website, was wanted for extraditon by the U.S. for drug trafficking.

Columbia's former president Ernesto Samper expressed concern that Reyes' death may endanger the 40 hostages held by the FARC.

The terrorists' hostages include U.S. State Department antinarcotics contractors Mark Goncalves, Kein Stambler, and Thomas Howes, the former Columbian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, and several members of Columbia's security forces.

The current Columbian president, Alvaro Uribe, whose father was kidnapped and killed by the FARC, has been a strong opponent of the terrorist movement.

The Houston Chronicle (3-1-08) reports that Columbia's Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos told a news conference in Bogota:

"This is the biggest blow to this terrorist group in its history."

...Reyes, whose real name was Luis Edgar Devia, became the first member of the FARC's ruling secretariat to be killed by government troops since the Marxist rebel group launched its war against the state in 1964. Analysts believe that Reyes may have been in line to succeed Manuel Marulanda, the FARC's 77-year-old maximum leader...

Santos said that an intercepted satellite telephone call tipped off authorities that Reyes would soon arrive at a rural area just across the border with Ecuador, which has become a haven and rest spot for the guerrillas. Troops airlifted to the frontier immediately came under rebel gunfire which allowed army aircraft to pinpoint and bomb the FARC camp.

The bodies of Reyes and the other dead guerrillas were recovered by the army, Santos said. One Colombian soldier was killed in the operation.

The U.S. government, which has blacklisted the FARC as a terrorist and drug-trafficking organization, had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Reyes.

FARC commanders have frustrated the Colombian government and created an aura of invincibility by their ability under hot pursuit to disappear into the mountains and jungles. But the death of Reyes "destroys this myth," said former Colombian army commander Manuel Jose Bonett [Full text].

Reuters (3-2-08) reports Chavez' hysterics:

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez ordered tank battalions to the Colombian border and mobilized warplanes on Sunday after Colombian troops struck inside Ecuador in an attack on rebels.

..."Mr. Defense Minister, move me 10 battalions to the frontier with Colombia immediately, tank battalions," Chavez said on his weekly TV show. "The air force should mobilize. We do not want war."

Colombia's military said on Saturday troops had killed Raul Reyes, a leader of Marxist FARC rebels, during an attack on a jungle camp in Ecuador in a severe blow to Latin America's oldest guerrilla insurgency. The operation included air strikes and fighting with rebels across the frontier.

On Saturday, the anti-U.S. Chavez warned Colombia against doing the same in Venezuela because he would interpret it as a "cause for war." On Sunday, he said he would send Russian-made fighter jets into U.S. ally Colombia if its troops struck in Venezuela.

The leftist, anti-U.S. Chavez has been in a diplomatic dispute with his ideological opposite, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, for months because of the Venezuelan's mediation with FARC rebels over their hostages. Uribe has accused Chavez of using the mediation to meddle in Colombian affairs.

On Sunday, Chavez accused Uribe of lying about the details of the operation that killed the rebel in Ecuador, where the leftist government of President Rafael Correa is a close Venezuelan ally. He called it a "cowardly assassination" of a "good revolutionary."

..."He (Uribe) is a criminal," Chavez said. "Not only is he a liar, a mafia boss, a paramilitary who leads a narco-government and leads a government that is a lackey of the United States ... he leads a band of criminals from his palace" [Full text].

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