Colombia releases official notice in response to Venezuela

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Monday, January 17, 2005

The government of Colombia released an official notice in response to Venezuela's claims. Recently Venezuela said Colombian authorities illegally invaded Venezuelan territory and kidnapped FARC adviser Rodrigo Granda (also known as Ricardo Gonzalez). Colombia said that Colombian forces captured Granda inside Colombian territory. Colombia also accused Venezuela of harboring terrorists.

At first, Venezuela accused Colombia of invading Venezuelan territory and capturing Granda. Later, Venezuela said that Colombia may have bribed Venezuelan public officers.

The Venezuelan government's protests are a request of the FARC. The FARC demands that the Venezuelan government assures the safety and freedom of their members inside Venezuelan territory.

The complete Colombian declaration follows:

HOUSE OF NARIÑO COMMUNIQUÉ

Loudspeaker.png audio: voice of the Press Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia Ricardo Gallant(in Spanish)

1. The right of the people to be free of terrorists needs the efficient and resolute cooperation of all democratic governments.

2. Colombia pays rewards to informants who allow the capture of terrorists. It does not bribe. Venezuela must present proves supporting the alleged bribe to government officials.

3. We cannot be cynically deceived by the FARC which presents the capture of kidnappers like kidnapping.

4. Colombia will present proves to the Venezuelan Government regarding the protection provided by officials of that country to Mr. Granda. The safe haven provided to terrorists violates the sovereignty of Colombia, an offended country, for it increases the risk of terror against its citizens.

5. Colombia does not accept that representatives of terrorist organizations be admitted in a political event sponsored by official Venezuelan institutions. Political opposition is one thing another very different one is terrorism.

6. With surprise it is read in the Foreign Affairs Office in Venezuela communiqué, the intention of involving 4 Colombian police officers in the Granda case. The Venezuelan authorities timely new that it concerned another antinarcotics operation. They were investigated and released.

7. Colombia has used the diplomatic and official channels. What is demanded is that such channels operate in an efficient manner. Once again, information will be delivered to that Government concerning the presence of Colombian terrorists on Venezuelan soil. The name of 7 high ranking terrorist leaders and the location of various camps will be included

8. The will of the Colombian Government to work in harmony with the Government of Venezuela is reiterated and according to the procedure defined by the Offices of Foreign Affairs.

9. Terrorism cannot harm the unity of our nations.

January 16, 2005

House of Nariño

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