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Chavez rejects claims Spanish ETA terrorists were trained in Venezuela

Wednesday, October 6th 2010 - 05:13 UTC
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Part of the orchestra that keeps playing against the Socialist revolution, says Chavez Part of the orchestra that keeps playing against the Socialist revolution, says Chavez

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez dismissed claims from Spain that two members of Basque separatist group ETA were trained in Venezuela as part of an international campaign to besmirch his government.

“It's all part of the orchestra which keeps sounding against the Bolivarian Revolution,” Chávez said of the accusations by Spanish prosecutors.

Echoing a Spanish judicial accusation six months ago that triggered a diplomatic spat, prosecutors said two suspected ETA members arrested last week were trained in France and Venezuela in the summer of 2008.

“There's a permanent conspiracy against real democratic processes,” Chávez told state television, reading a government statement denying any links with ETA.

“It's like a stuck record -they say there are Hezbollah camps here, there are terrorists, there's an atomic bomb, there are scientists selling secrets to our country ... All based on supposed rumours.”

In power since 1999, Venezuela's populist leader also has faced long-running accusations of supporting leftist guerrillas in neighbouring Colombia. He denies that, too even when laptops captured to the rebels indicate the opposite.

In March, a Spanish judge set off a diplomatic incident when he accused the Chávez government of assisting ETA rebels in 2007. He said the rebels were given a Venezuelan military escort to a jungle site where they gave a course on handling explosives to visiting members of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

In this case claims were made by captured ETA members supported with videos of their activities in Venezuela sponsored by the Chavez administration.


Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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