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"I am sure that the organs of power in Washington are not going to let themselves be duped or manipulated ... that the U.S. government knows what's really happening here," he said.

Chavez security chief alleges FARC links--[Excerpt] I am resigning because I disagree with the DISIP's policy of providing security to Colombian guerrillas ... this policy is more than just irregular, it approaches treason to Venezuela given the innumerable deaths, kidnappings and other crimes for which these groups are responsible in our country."

Egui Bastidas said 90 percent of his fellow officers "obey orders but do not agree with them" and called on President Hugo Chavez to reverse his policy of tacit support for the rebels.

"All the peace negotiations there are over and open confrontations between the guerrillas and the Colombian government have begun. Are they going to carry on letting them cross over into Venezuelan territory?" Egui Bastidas asked.

The former DISIP official called on the Armed Forces to issue a statement about their view of the Chávez government's alleged support for the Colombian guerrillas.

Egui Bastidas also made a number of revelations about DISIP activities in recent months. He said the Venezuelan security service had collected personal information about all serving military officers and had also tried to smear opposition figures, such as Alberto Pena, the mayor of Metropolitan Caracas.

The official said he was also concerned at the growing role of Russian and Cuban security advisers in Venezuela.

Egui Bastidas said he had experienced "the direct participation and the attempts at indoctrination by the Russian and Cuban intelligence services, who have direct and virtually unlimited access within the Helicoide (DISIP's headquarters building)."

The official's lawyer, former DISIP Secretary-General Joaquin Chaffardet, said around 100 members of the Cuban intelligence services are currently operating in Venezuela.

The new allegations would, if proven, further strain the already difficult relationship between the United States and Venezuela. [End Excerpt]

Chavez: Castro II (REUTERS/Kimberly White)

Facing crisis, ''El Chalibán'' aims to soften his tough image

1 posted on 02/25/2002 2:23:00 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Ah yes, Fidel Castro redux.
2 posted on 02/25/2002 3:46:39 AM PST by OldFriend
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