Gov. Bill Richardson Meets With Hugo Chavez
Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) met with Hugo Chavez on Saturday to discuss the release of three US contractors held by the FARC terrorists in Colombia.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) welcomes New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson at Miraflores Palace in Caracas April 26, 2008. Seasoned U.S. negotiator Richardson will discuss the situation of three U.S. hostages held by rebels in Colombia by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) since 2003. (REUTERS/Miraflores Palace)
Governor Richardson says that he persuaded Hugo Chavez to help secure the release of 3 Americans held by FARC.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said he has persuaded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to intervene to help secure the release of three U.S. hostages.
“President Chavez has agreed to try and help,” the Democratic governor said.
Richardson met Saturday with Venezuelan officials who agreed to let the former presidential candidate negotiate with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, or FARC, to release three military contractors — Tom Howes, Marc Gonsalves, and Keith Stansell — held since 2003.
Hugo Chavez has well known links to the Colombian FARC terrorists.
Chavez gave $300 million to the FARC terrorists and financial ties between Chavez and the rebels dating back to 1992 according to documents captured in a recent FARC raid. In fact a phone call by Chavez to FARC leader Raul Reyes and traced by Colombia led to a successful ambush on the FARC leader’s camp.
FARC terrorists have been holding US defense contractors Keith Stansell, Mark Gonsalves and Thomas Howes since 2003 in the jungles of Colombia.
Gonsalves, Stansell and Howes were doing drug surveillance for the Department of Defense when they were taken hostage in February 2003. The single-engine plane carrying them and two other men crashed in a remote, mountainous region south of Colombia’s capital, Bogota. Almost four years later they are still being held by FARC.
Maybe, Hugo can help.