The U.S. State Department’s 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism named Cuba as harboring Colombian guerrillas, and said it is unclear “how much help” the Venezuelan government provides the same rebel organizations.
The report found that there was “no evidence of direct financial support for terrorist organizations by Cuba in 2009,” although the communist regime “continued to provide safe haven” to members of Colombian guerrilla groups the FARC and the ELN, as well as Basque separatist group ETA, and provided them ‘with living, logistical, and medical support.”
Cuba “categorically” rejected its inclusion on the list of state sponsors of terror and demanded its “immediate exclusion” from the list.
The report also stated that the Venezuelan government’s “ideological ties with the FARC, and weak international counternarcotics cooperation” mean the country provides a “permissive” environment for drug traffickers, while “there is little evidence” that the state is working to improve the situation.
According to the report, both the FARC and the ELN “regularly used Venezuelan territory to rest and regroup, engage in narcotics trafficking, as well as to extort protection money and kidnap Venezuelans to finance their operations.”
The State Department placed Venezuela on the list of countries that do not “cooperate fully” with anti-terrorism efforts, a list that the socialist nation has been on since 2006.
The report backs allegations that Colombia presented before the Organization of American States, claiming that there are 87 guerrilla camps located within Venezuela’s borders.
The accusations led Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to break all ties with Colombia. Venezuela has indicated a willingness to consider restoring severed relations after Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos takes office on August 7.