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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, January 08, 2003
1:31 PM

Chavez-Al Qaeda Update... Via Crooowblog, NRO runs this column by the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Ivan G. Osorio:

On January 5, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's former personal pilot dropped a bombshell that has been ignored by just about every major U.S. news organization: The Venezuelan president, according to the pilot, gave al Qaeda a substantial sum of money following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Venezuelan Air Force Major Juan Diaz Castillo, who is now seeking political asylum in the United States and says his "life and liberty are in danger in Venezuela," says Chavez chose him to conduct the transfer because he trusted him as a close personal assistant. But Díaz, disgusted with Chavez's regime, resigned his post on October 25 — and fled following a December 16 attempt on his life.

Osorio doesn't mention World Net Daily's account, but adds, as I do, that it fits a pattern:

Diaz Castillo's testimony alone should not be taken at face value — but his statements are consistent with other defectors' testimony and Chavez's public behavior.

General Marcos Ferreira, who resigned as director of Venezuela's border-control service, recently told Insight magazine that Cuba's General Intelligence Directorate (Spanish initials: DGI) has practically taken over Venezuela's ominously named Directorate for Intelligence, Security, and Prevention (DISIP), and that Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin pressured him to cover up the identities of terrorists — many from the Middle East — passing through Venezuela and to deceive U.S. terrorism investigators. "I quit my job when I got tired of doing dirty work for Chavez with the Cubans looking over my shoulder," he said.

General Nestor Gonzalez Gonzalez, another military dissident, says Chavez has routed weapons and supplies from Cuba through Venezuela to Marxist guerrillas in Colombia...

In 2001, Chavez paid state visits to — and signed "cooperation agreements" with — Libya, Iraq, and Iran.

Chavez's hatred of the United States and our allies is well known, as is his propensity for violence. On September 12, 2001, Chavez supporters burned an American flag in Caracas's Plaza Bolivar to celebrate the previous day's terrorist attacks. Chavez tried to seize power by force in 1992; and recently his thugs have ransacked television stations and fired on opposition demonstrators. It is not a stretch to believe he would ally himself with anyone trying to do us harm.

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