Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Chavez says he will arrange release of Colombia hostages

Chavez says he will arrange release of Colombia hostages

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Saturday he will arrange for the release of three hostages Colombian rebels have promised to give up, when he returns to Venezuela from Cuba.
"I have already come up with a plan to receive them," Chavez told reporters in Havana at the close of a four-day visit, before leaving for Caracas.
On Tuesday the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said it would free hostage Clara Rojas, along with her three- or four-year-old son Emmanuel, who was born in captivity to her and a rebel father; and lawmaker Consuelo Gonzalez de Perdomo.
The three are part of some 45 hostages held by the group. Rojas was kidnapped in 2002 along with the highest-profile hostage, former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, a French-Colombian citizen. Rojas was Betancourt's aide.
Despite a wave of anticipation triggered by FARC's announcement, there has been no firm time set for the hostage release and a Colombian mediator working with Chavez said Saturday it might take some time for it to materialize.
Opposition Senator Piedad Cordoba said during a brief visit to Caracas that ongoing military operations in Colombia could delay the three hostages' release.
"There are a lot of operations in the country (Colombia), they are not going to suspend them and it could cause a delay," Cordoba said at Caracas' airport.
The delay is likely "until there are conditions that don't work against the security and integrity of the hostages," she said.
Until then, she added, "I don't know the date or hour, nor the place for the handover ... I don't know if it will be here, in Brazil, in Ecuador, or on the border."
The FARC said the release of the three is a gesture of goodwill towards the relatives of the hostages, and to Chavez and Cordoba, while accusing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe of obstructing attempts to arrange a swap of their hostages and some 500 FARC members held by the government.
FARC has said it will turn the three hostages over to Chavez, who had been officially negotiating a release or swap until Uribe stopped those talks amid accusations Chavez broke protocol.
Chavez on Friday called arranging the handover sensitive.
"It is a delicate operation," Chavez said at the close of the PetroCaribe summit in Cuba's southern coastal city of Cienfuegos.


Updated : 2021-08-06 12:12 GMT+08:00