Your crazy speculation of the day…
Captain Ed spotlights a Christian Science Monitor article that says tensions between Colombia and Venezuela and Bolivia have calmed in the past few weeks… with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez acting strangely conciliatory.
Venezuela has since restored full diplomatic relations with Colombia, and Ecuador says it intends to. But there’s uneasiness in the capitals of Caracas and Quito about what else may be revealed by the FARC laptops – and how Colombian President Alvaro Uribe intends to use it, analysts say…
The laptops reportedly detail meetings between FARC leaders and members of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa’s government – and a possible $20,000 rebel contribution to Mr. Correa’s campaign. Another document, say Colombian officials, indicates Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez planned to make his own contribution to the FARC of $300 million and several hundred used rifles. Based on that information, Mr. Uribe threatened to have Mr. Chávez prosecuted in international courts for sponsoring “genocide.”
After sending troops to the Colombian border, suddenly a week later Chávez called for reconciliation and Correa accepted Colombia’s apology for violating its territory….
Both Chávez and Correa are now warning that tensions in the Andes will not fully ease unless Colombia agrees to keep quiet about what’s on the computers.
“As long as they keep using the supposed computers to attack us, the conflict is going to continue to flare,” Chávez told reporters in Caracas Tuesday. In an attempt to discredit what else may be released from the computers in the future, Chávez suggested he may be falsely linked to the leaders of Al Qaeda and the FARC. “Don’t be alarmed if from that computer they pull a photo of me with [Osama] bin Laden and Manuel Marulanda,” he jibed.
Only a fraction of what is on the computers – believed to contain thousands of files – has been released to the public.
Following up on one of the comments on that Hot Air thread, I found the following in NRO’s archives:
On January 5,  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s former personal pilot dropped a bombshell that has been ignored by just about every major U.S. news organization: The Venezuelan president, according to the pilot, gave al Qaeda a substantial sum of money following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Venezuelan Air Force Major Juan Diaz Castillo, who is now seeking political asylum in the United States and says his “life and liberty are in danger in Venezuela,” says Chavez chose him to conduct the transfer because he trusted him as a close personal assistant. But Díaz, disgusted with Chavez’s regime, resigned his post on October 25 — and fled following a December 16 attempt on his life.
At a Miami press conference this past Sunday, Diaz said that shortly following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Chavez commissioned him “to organize, coordinate, and execute a covert operation consisting of delivering financial resources, specifically $1 million, to [Afghanistan’s] Taliban government, in order for them to assist the al-Qaeda terrorist organization,” while, “making it appear as if humanitarian aid were being extended to the Afghan people.”
The first attempt to transfer the money fell through, but in late September 2001 Venezuelan Vice President Diosdado Cabello decided to funnel the money through Venezuela’s ambassador in India, one Walter Marquez. The Taliban received the money and publicly acknowledged receipt of $100,000 in “humanitarian aid.” “The rest went straight to al Qaeda,” claims Díaz Castillo. “That is, $900,000.”
Would a FARC laptop have some sort of confirmation of this tale, or subequent contact between Chavez’ regime and al-Qaeda? The Colombians found something on that laptop that has Hugo Chavez suddenly backing down and playing nice. Chavez himself “jokes” that next the Colombians will say they found a photo of him, the leader of FARC, and Osama bin Laden.
Obviously, we may never know what else was found on that laptop, and this is speculation. But if a tie is established between Chavez and al-Qaeda (and I grant that’s a big “if”) how will Americans look upon Barack Obama’s pledge to conduct face-to-face diplomacy with Chavez, without preconditions?