Venezuela’s opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, said on Sunday that if he is elected Venezuela will not be a territory for guerrillas from Colombia’s largest rebel group, the FARC.
During a rally in Caracas on Sunday in which hundreds of thousands of supporters turned out, the presidential hopeful declared, “The FARC are calling for a vote for ‘mentira fresca’ [interim President Nicolas Maduro], they say that it’s good for them, and they are right, because here [with my government] they won’t continue kidnapping and Venezuela will not be a territory for the guerrilla. I am completely against those that murder, assassinate, rob, and kidnap our people.”
Capriles is running against Venezuela’s interim President Nicolas Maduro, who took office after the death of Hugo Chavez on March 5. The current president has publically supported the peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the FARC that are taking place in Havana, Cuba.
“We will do everything we need to do and more to help Colombia with the peace process, with the reconciliation,” the acting president said in March. “For us, peace in Colombia is peace in our own nation,” he added.
The FARC delegation in Havana thanked Maduro for his support and vowed to work hard in Cuba’s capital to move forward with negotiations.
Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, had a rather capricious relationship with FARC rebels. Emails found on the computer of killed rebel commander Raul Reyes suggest that Venezuela allowed the FARC to use Venezuelan territory but also moved on the rebels when it suited him.
Venezuela’s presidential elections will take place on April 14, and although this Sunday’s rally demonstrated much support for opposition leader Henrique Capriles, most polls still have Maduro beating Capriles by 10 to 20 percentage points according to ABC News.
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