Venezuelan Communist Party Calls for Asylum for Jailed FARC Member

Through a campaign to collect signatures and a protest in Caracas’ Plaza Bolivar this past Saturday, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) has intensified its efforts to secure the political asylum of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) member Guillermo Torres Cueter, more commonly known as Julian Conrado, or “The Singer.”

By Sascha Bercovitch

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Julián Conrado (Aporrea tvi)
Julián Conrado (Aporrea tvi)
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Caracas, August 5 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Through a campaign to collect signatures and a protest in Caracas’ Plaza Bolivar this past Saturday, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV) has intensified its efforts to secure the political asylum of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) member Guillermo Torres Cueter, more commonly known as Julian Conrado, or “The Singer.”

Conrado is wanted by both the United States and the Colombian government and has a pending extradition request to Colombia after being arrested in Venezuela on May 31, 2011. While Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega recommended against his extradition on legal and human rights grounds later that year, the government still has yet to respond to Conrado’s formal request for asylum.

Beginning July 13, the PCV launched a month-long drive to gather 50,000 signatures throughout the country in support of the asylum of Conrado and the repatriation of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, also known as “Carlos the Jackal,” who has been sentenced to life imprisonment in France for acts of terrorism.

Several members of the National Assembly (AN) signed the petition in Caracas on Saturday, including PCV Deputy Yul Jabbour of Cojedes and United Socialist Party Deputy Aleydys Manaure of Falcón.

“We've spent two years fighting for the liberation of Julian Conrado so that the government considers political and humanitarian asylum,” Manaure said.

During his weekly television show Jose Vicente Hoy, journalist and former Vice President José Vicente Rangel expressed his support for a timely resolution to the case.

“The pressure of the Colombian government, which claims he [Conrado] has connections to the guerrillas has caused his case to remain unresolved. Conrado is sick and requires special treatment. It would be important that the national government find a solution to the case, for humanitarian reasons and for what the artist represents,” Rangel said.

In the first of a three part-interview with Aporrea released yesterday, Conrado maintained that despite his conditions, he remains “completely optimistic.”

“I’ve learned many things during my time here, but this above all: we must have international solidarity between our peoples. One revolution cannot cheat another revolution,” he said. “According to bourgeois thought, there is a distance, but among revolutionaries, there can’t be any. Thoughts and actions have to be intimately united.”

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