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Last Updated:2/4/02
Excerpt from State Department Daily Briefing, January 31, 2002

Daily Press Briefing
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 31, 2002

QUESTION: There were reports yesterday, documents reported yesterday in Venezuela, that were signed by the actual new minister of the interior of Venezuela. And the reports showed how the government in some way was dealing with FARC guerrillas in Colombia, a terrorist organization according to the State Department. And naturally, they say that they will exchange oil supply and medicines and other things in exchange for the guerrillas stopping the kidnapping in the borders.

Do you have any comment on that? And also, I mean, in that context, but in any context, is dealing with a terrorist organization would be considered or would qualify as sponsoring terrorism?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not quite sure. You're talking about Venezuelan documents or US documents?

QUESTION: Yeah, no. It's a document signed by the new minister of the interior of Venezuela, and in that document that was public yesterday, he says, or it's reported, how they were exchanging or offering the guerrilla oil or gas and medicines and asylum and refugee in exchange of stopping the kidnappings in the border with Venezuela.

MR. BOUCHER: I will have to look at that. I am not familiar with that. I will have to see what we have.

QUESTION: But actually, I mean in any case, I mean if a government was to get in contact and deal in that fashion with a terrorist organization or someone the US sees as a terrorist organization, would that qualify as --

MR. BOUCHER: We have always criticized any prospect of outside support for the FARC. We do see FARC as a terrorist organization and have criticized various things in the past that appeared to offer outside support for them.

As of February 4, 2002, this document was also available online at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2002/7732.htm

 

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