U.S. intelligence agencies presented a report Wednesday to the U.S. Senate claiming that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez provides “covert support” to Colombian guerrilla organization the FARC.
The document states: “We assess Chavez is likely to maintain his decade-long ties to the FARC by providing them safehaven because of his ideological affinity to the group and his interest in influencing Colombian politics.”
The report also claims that Chavez’s power in the region “may have reached its limit.”
According to U.S intelligence, the FARC’s power is waning and “although [the group] is unlikely to make a sustained comeback, it will still be able to conduct small-scale guerrilla and terrorist attacks nationwide.”
Colombia and Venezuela have a long history of tensions, in part due to the long-held belief of the Colombian goverment that the leftist government in Caracas is supporting guerrillas in Colombia.
Venezuela cut ties with Colombia after the Andean nation signed a military pact with the U.S. which allowed the North American country to use seven of its military bases.
Chavez considers the pact a threat to national security and has made steps to block his country’s $7 billion annual trade with Colombia, and tighten border security.