Patterns of Global Terrorism 2002 - Venezuela

While the Venezuelan Government expressed sympathy in the months following the 11 September 2001 attacks, Caracas made it clear that it opposed the use of force in Afghanistan and has sent mixed signals during the war on terrorism. Venezuela signed the OAS Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism in June 2002, but has not yet ratified the treaty. Venezuela is a party to four of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.

Nevertheless, Venezuelan laws do not support the efficient investigation of terrorist organization financing or activities; the United States during 2002 provided technical assistance to help the Government of Venezuela assess vulnerabilities in its financial system and to plan appropriate policy remedies. The political crisis at the end of the year, however, had pushed all unrelated issues to the backburner. While Venezuela did extradite two members of the terrorist organization Basque Fatherland and Liberty to Spain, reports abounded that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian National Liberation Army were using the border area between Venezuela and Colombia for cross-border incursions and as an unchallenged safehaven for the guerrillas. Additionally, unconfirmed reports persist that elements of the Venezuelan Government may have provided material support to the FARC, particularly weapons.

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