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Political row erupts between Spain and Venezuela
• FURY: Accusations by Spanish judge have sparked flare up between Zapatero (left) and Chavez
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A POLITICAL row has erupted between Spain and Venezuela over accusations that Hugo Chavez’s government “co-operated” with Eta.
Spanish judge Eloy Velasco criticised Venezuela for its association with the Basque terrorist group as well as a Columbian guerrilla group (Farc).
“There is evidence in this case which shows the Venezuelan government’s co-operation in the illegal association between Farc and Eta.”
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero has now demanded an immediate explanation from Venezuelan officials following the controversial allegations.
“There is evidence in this case which shows the Venezuelan government’s co-operation in the illegal association between Farc and Eta,” said investigating magistrate Velasco.
The remarks prompted Venezuelan government to respond with a bristling statement.
Velasco was criticised for making “unacceptable allegations of a politically motivated nature, against the government of Venezuela”.
The statement also accused the Spanish judge of referring to Chavez in a “disrespectful fashion”.
However, Zapatero confirmed that Spain is still awaiting an explanation for the terrorist-link revelations.
“The government of Spain will decide what to do when it receives that explanation,” said the Spanish Prime Minister.
Magistrate Velasco had previously named Venezuelan diplomat Arturo Cubillas – an alleged Eta member who works in Venezuela’s ministry of agriculture – as the link man with Farc.
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