Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Chavez denies backing terror group

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has dismissed a Spanish judge's account of Basque separatists receiving weapons training in his country, calling it a farce aimed at discrediting his government.

Mr Chavez called such accusations "a broken record" on state television.

He was reacting after a Spanish judge said two suspected Basque Eta militants arrested in Spain last week took a weapons training course in Venezuela in 2008.

Mr Chavez read aloud a statement from his foreign ministry denying any claims "that aim to link (the government) with the terrorist organisation ETA".

The Venezuelan government said the testimony of "two bloodthirsty criminals" lacks credibility and suggests that they are making "absurd" accusations to try to obtain less severe sentences.

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