In an interview with El Nuevo Herald Carlos Molina Tamayo, a former national security advisor to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, claims that he was witness to the Venezuelan government attempting to supply FARC guerrillas with weapons.
Molina, who is exiled in Europe following a failed 2002 coup, told El Nuevo Heraldo that a close ally of Chavez’s, retired navy Capitan Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, asked him to hand over weapons to the guerrilla when he was in charge of the Venezuelan armed forces’ weaponry.
“Rodriguez Chacin asked me for 300 FAL rifles. He only told me that it was for an irregular operation but it was understood that it was a guerrilla operation. He asked me where he could them out without being detected,” Molina said.
According to El Nuevo Herald, Molina was never again asked to hand over weapons but several months later the Venezuelan armed forces reported that weaponry had disappeared and the ensuing investigation determined that members of the army had been involved in the disappearances.
“Sometimes there were operation in which arms were stolen, or in which they pretended that they were being stolen, in order to hand them over to the guerrilla. Not just rifles, mortars, grenades and anti-tank AT4 rockets also disappeared and have appeared in the hands of the guerrilla,” Molina said.
Despite his reported refusal to cooperate, Molina was later named permanent secretary for Venezuela’s Council on Security and Defense but after constant clashes with Chavez was given the post of Venezuelan ambassador to Greece.
From Greece Molina gave his resignation and demanded the same of Chavez, for the latter’s alleged links to Colombia guerrilla.
At the end of July, the administration of President Alvaro Uribe presented claims that Venezuela was harboring guerrillas to the Organization of American States. The allegations led Chavez to break all ties with Colombia. Relations were restored a few weeks later during a meeting between Chavez and newly sworn-in Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.