Carlos Molina Tamayo, former national security advisor to President Hugo Chávez, told Miami’s El Nuevo Herald today that the Venezuelan military has, in the past, supplied arms to the Colombian Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). According to Tamayo, former Minister of the Interior Ramon Rodriguez Chacin asked him to help send rifles to the FARC, when he was in charge of the Venezuelan armed forces’ armory.
Mr. Tamayo claims that Mr. Rodriguez Chacin asked him for 300 FAL rifles for an irregular operation and asked how they could be shipped out of Venezuela without being detected. Though Tamayo was never directly asked again to send more weapons, he claims that rifles, mortars and grenades and even anti-tank AT4 rockets would regularly “disappear” or were “stolen” from the Venezuelan caches.
Tamayo’s on-the-record statements come only a month after former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe accused President Chávez of harboring 1,500 FARC guerrillas and funding the FARC movement in Colombia. Chávez responded by cutting all diplomatic ties with Colombia, raising the threat of a military clash along the countries’ shared 2,300km border. The tensions finally eased in mid-August when Juan Manuel Santos met with Chávez in the Colombian city of Santa Marta, shortly after succeeding Uribe.