Venezuela to name library after FARC founder

A community in the north Venezuelan state of Aragua will dedicate a new public library to late FARC co-founder Manuel “Tirofijo” Marulanda Velez.

“In the Los Bagres sector of Valles de Tucutunemo, in the state of Aragua, close to Caracas, there is a plan to inaugurate a library in the name of Colombian guerrilla alias Manuel Marulanda Velez,” a Venezuelan radio station reported Monday evening.

This is not the first time a Venezuelan community has honored the FARC founder. In September 2008 the Simon Bolivar Guerrilla Coordinating Board – an umbrella coalition of guerrilla groups – named a Caracas square after the deceased FARC founder. Tirofijo, or “Sureshot,” was also honored with a bust on the square.

Venezuelan TV network Globovision reported that the library’s naming is an initiative of the Caracas National Library Commission.

According to Globovision, locals agreed to name the library after Tirofijo because he is considered “a true revolutionary.”

Tirofijo co-founded the FARC in 1966. He reportedly died of a heart attack in March 2008.

The honoring of Tirofijo follows a diplomatic row between Spain and Venezuela after a Spanish judge alleged in a 26-page indictment that Chavez’s government had cooperated with Basque separatist group ETA and with the FARC.

Long-running tensions exist between Colombia and Venezuela, with Colombia accusing the socialist nation of harboring FARC guerrillas, accusations which Venezuela vehemently denies.

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