Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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The More Things Change...Chavez Rolls On
Despite repeated promises and public statements, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez continues to allow the FARC to operate from Venezuelan territory. This is not surprising, given that Chavez has not often kept his word on such issues.

What is interesting is that the support continues despite the FARC's recent killing spree of indigenous people in Nariño province. Wasn't the Bolivarian Revolution supposed to be against that? Respected groups like Human Rights Watch have documented the incidents.

Then there is the rising anti-Semitism of the Chávez folks, and the official hate speech and attacks on places of worship,.

But the point is that such reports of ongoing support come as the FARC is showing clear signs of regrouping after a very difficult past few months. The release of the handful of hostages has perhaps helped people forget the other 700 that remain behind.

The revelation in Semana magazine that the FARC summarily executed 11 Colombian members of congress in 2006, when they mistook some comrades for an army patrol should remind folks of what the FARC is really like.

Clearly the FARC, with access to cocaine revenue streams and extra territorial support, can survive long after their ideology has faded away. It is, slowly, regrouping in the triple canopy jungle, enjoying a rear-guard protected by Chávez and making their presence felt by a series of attacks against unarmed civilians.

When a group has as little popular support as the FARC does in Colombia (as one former FARC commander told me), they feel they have nothing to lose by attacking the civilians.

Chávez continues to buy far more weapons than he could use internally, and his AK-47 factory, leased from the ever-willing Russians, will be on line soon. That will provide the FARC and other groups with even more access to weapons, meaning the conflicts in the region will not end.

This will spill over severely into neighboring countries such as Brazil, Ecuador and across the continent. It is no small matter to have a state-sponsored logistics pipeline if you are a non-state group. The Reyes documents show how many active groups and front groups there are. The entire region will pay a heavy price for Chávez's support of terrorist organizations.

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