Former Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vincente Rangel accuses the former head of Colombian intelligence agency DAS of working to destabilize the government of Hugo Chavez with the support of the CIA, RCN Radio reported Monday.
He alleged that the DAS, under the leadership of Maria del Pilar Hurtado, worked with the CIA under then-President Alvaro Uribe‘s orders to infiltrate and destabilize the Venezuelan government.
Another former DAS director, Ramiro Bejarano, admitted that it would not surprise him if Uribe had given such an order although it would be unlikely to have involved foreign agencies such as the CIA. He suggested that DAS’s role was more likely to have simply been to “gather intelligence.”
Hurtado, currently in Panama after she was granted political asylum there, is wanted over illegal wiretapping operations carried out in Colombia.
Guillermo Garcia Realpe, a senator on Colombia’s Foreign Relations Committee, said that this latest investigation against DAS should be conducted at a diplomatic level. He said that “in order to maintain good international relations [with Venezuela], it is important for Colombia to investigate and to overcome this issue quickly, which, if it took place is very unfortunate for our country.”
Since taking office, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has been working hard to improve diplomatic relations with Venezuela, another important reason for Colombia to investigate these latest allegations as quickly as possible.