The Wall Street Journal

Venezuela Plotted to Kill Rival, Spain Says
The Wall Street Journal

Spain and Venezuela headed toward a potential diplomatic face-off after a Spanish judge on Monday accused Caracas of collaborating with rebel groups to assassinate Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and other top political figures.

Spanish National Court Judge Eloy Velasco alleged Monday that the Venezuelan government had collaborated with Basque separatist group ETA and Colombia’s main guerrilla group in a plot against leaders living in or traveling to Spain that began in late 2003.

The allegations were part of an indictment that ordered 12 alleged members of ETA and of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to stand trial on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and terrorism, according to a copy reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

« There is evidence…showing the cooperation of the Venezuelan government in the illegal collaboration between FARC and ETA, » according to the indictment.

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, speaking at a news conference Monday in Hanover, Germany, said he had ordered his Foreign Ministry to « request an explanation from the Venezuelan government » regarding the allegations. « We are awaiting such explanation, » Mr. Zapatero said.