In an impressive and well coordinated smear campaign, the Spanish corporate media has launched a preemptive strike against President Hugo Chávez. The print media included Público, El País, ABC, El Mundo, La Razón, Cadena Ser, COPE, Libertad Digital as well as the TV Channels.
The media campaign then spread world-wide to the BBC, CNN, Fox News and of course the internet was flooded with this explosive story. As usual, the finger of guilt was pointed at Venezuela and President Chávez in particular.
The devil is in the details and the following text shows how the media as well as the Spanish Judge concerned, have worked up yet another attack on the Bolivarian revolution with virtually no real evidence to support such accusations.
The first question one must ask is that if the judge indicted 13 members of ETA and FARC in absentia and Venezuela was involved in a criminal conspiracy, why are there no members of the Venezuelan government named or indicted? Read the following text and you will discover why this is the case.
Acting like a well-oiled machine the media published information in unison cut from the same cloth which formed the basis of the indictment of the judge of the Spanish Supreme Court, Eloy Velasco. Without any credible proof, Velasco accuses the Venezuelan government of cooperating in alleged joint actions of the FARC and ETA. The “evidence” comes from the computer of FARC leader, Raúl Reyes, who was assassinated during the violent Colombian incursion into Ecuador almost two years ago.
The computer in the hands of the Colombian authorities survived a missile attack which killed several people in the encampment and, by chance, confirmed all the arguments of President Alvaro Uribe to enable him to increase his bellicose internal campaign. Strange as it may sound, the “magic bomb resistant” computer has never been shown in public.
In July 2006 IT experts from Ecuador’s Polytechnic University determined that the computer had been manipulatedwhen the Colombian military stole it from Ecuadorian territory. “When accessing the information in the computer between March 1 -3 2008, the legal procedures were not adhered to”. In addition, and according to a statement by the National IT Director of the Ecuadorean Attorney General’s Office, Santiago Acuario, “from a legal and technical standpoint the information contained in the computer of “Raúl Reyes” does not have any judicial weight since it was obtained in violation of legal norms applicable in Ecuador”.
The possibility that the computer in the hands of the Colombians did not belong to the assassinated guerrilla commander is great since not even Interpol could confirm to whom the computer belonged.
Following this line of “proof” the Supreme Court Judge tries to tie the Venezuelan government with the alleged collaboration between the two armed groups. The result has been that the media, en masse, have used the situation to point at Chávez as a protector of ETA and a supporter of the FARC.
Velasco speaks about cooperation between the parties’ names but is incapable of demonstrating it or proving it in the entire 26 page document. He only manages to point at the Basque, Arturo Cubillas Fontán, a presumed member of ETA, as having links with the Venezuelan government and with the FARC based on Raúl Reyes emails. In December 2008 the Colombian Scientific Police confirmed that there were no emails in the alleged computer of Reyes.
Cubillas Fontán has lived in Venezuela since 1989 when an agreement signed between then Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez and ex President of Spain, Felipe González asked Venezuela to take in various ETA members. The agreement also specified that none of the Spanish deportees to Venezuela could be extradited if the alleged crimes committed had exceeded the statute of limitations of either country.
According to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister all the Basques related with ETA who live in Venezuela on the basis of this agreement. In the case of Venezuelan justice such people are not handed over to Spain due to the bilateral agreement but in some cases ETA members are extradited to Spain if they are wanted by the Spanish authorities and the statute of limitations has not been exceeded.
A year after arriving in Venezuela as a guest under surveillance, Arturo Cubillas married the Venezuelan Goizeder Odriozola Lataillade. This was permitted since Cubillas did not have a criminal record in Venezuela and was not wanted by the Spanish Supreme Court. On this basis was he was able to obtain Venezuelan nationality before Chávez came to power in 1999. This general right was suspended by Venezuelan authorities in 2006 at the request of the Spanish government. At that time all the mass media pointed at Chávez as a protector of presumed terrorists. The Venezuelan President has expressed on several occasions his repudiation of ETA and has called it a terrorist organization.
Cubillas Fontán, as a Venezuelan with no criminal record or arrest warrants outstanding against him worked in the Venezuelan government in the Ministry of Land and Agriculture, according to Judge Velasco.
This argument could indeed implicate several private companies in Venezuela where tens of Basques related to ETA now work. These people are resident in Venezuela due to Spain’s request at the end of the 1980’s and it is in this way that the judge has tried to establish a relationship between the Venezuelan government, ETA and the FARC.
The fact that Cubillas Fontán worked in Venezuela’s public administration 16 years after having arrived in the country and 15 years after marrying a Venezuelan citizen, having no criminal record and no arrest warrant issued against him by the Spanish Supreme Court is just a result of the agreement signed between Venezuela and Spain in 1989.
The judge has not been able to demonstrate any proof except for a manipulated and possibly false computer which in no way shows that the Venezuelan government was implicated in alleged FARC-ETA operations.
The fact that Arturo Cubillas works for a Venezuelan Ministry just means that the Venezuelan government is respecting the agreement signed with Spain in 1989 by Carlos Andrés Pérez and Felipe González. At the same time this is living proof that nationalized Venezuelan also have their rights guaranteed according to the 1999 Bolivarian Constitution.
Translated and expanded by Arturo Rosales for Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic comment: The following article was translated and expanded for Axis of Logic from Aporrea, a Spanish language newspaper by Arturo Rosales, an Axis columnist. The news broke in English in a somewhat obscure periodical on March 1st, followed by a corporate media barrage around the world on March 2nd. We investigated the corporate media this morning and found the news in various forms with various titles in 16 different major US and European websites, powered by the engines of Associated Press and Reuters news agencies. The Aporrea writer provides a fine analysis and debunking of these spurious claims by the Spanish judge. We only wish to add something about the motivation behind this new onslaught against Venezuela and President Chávez himself. For several years, the United States, Spain and other European countries have been pushing to implicate President Chávez with terrorism and to charge Venezuela with "state-sponsored terrorism". One thing can be said about them - they lay foundations for their plans, years in advance. In this case, they are attempting to create cause for future sanctions against Venezuela and possible military action in the future. These charges also come at a time when the U.S. is ramping up its aggressive campaign to discredit the Chávez administration as we approach the national elections in September.
- Les Blough in Venezuela