Spain confirmed Monday that Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco last week ordered international arrest warrants for the members of Colombia’s FARC and Basque separatist group ETA, accused of ties with Venezuela’s government.
Velasco ordered arrest warrants for five FARC members and seven ETA members, among them Arturo Cubillas Fontan, a suspected member of the ETA, who has served numerous high-level roles within the Venezuelan government of President Hugo Chavez.
FARC members Edgar Gustavo Navarro Morales and Victor Ramon Vargas Salazar were charged with “conspiracy to commit terrorist homicide,” while Emiro del Carmen Ropero, Rodrigo Granda, Luciano Martin and Omar Arturo Zabala were charged with “collaborating with a terrorist organization.”
The Spanish government sent copies of the charges to Venezuela and also to Cuba, where it is suspected that some of the alleged terrorists may be hiding.
Velasco sparked a diplomatic row between Spain and Venezuela after the Spanish judge made public a 26-page indictment which accused the socialist nation of helping ETA rebels and FARC guerrillas plot possible attacks on Spanish soil.
Ruffled diplomatic feathers have since been soothed, with Venezuela issuing a joint statement with Spain, strongly denying any collaboration between its government and ETA, and “totally rejecting” the group’s activities.
The U.S. remain concerned over the alleged Venezuela-terrorist ties.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs Arturo Valenzuela told U.S. Congress last week that, “there are certain indications that there has been some kind of assistance,” from Venezuela to the FARC and ETA.