San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Chávez Denies Funding Former Rebels in El Salvador

CARACAS – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said Feb. 9 that he is being accused of financing the political campaign in El Salvador for the opposition Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, “because it looks like it’s winning.”
“They accuse us of everything – now their accusing us of financing the campaign because it looks like the Farabundo Marti party is winning,” Chávez said.
The accusations come as U.S. prosecutors are eyeing a possible link between the Venezuelan government and a man arrested in August in Buenos Aires with $800,000 cash apparently bound for the campaign of left-leaning Cristina Fernández, who went on to win the Argentine vote for president.
On Feb. 6, the Salvadoran government recalled its trade representative to Venezuela, Rafael Hernández, for consultations about last week’s U.S. intelligence report, which claimed that Venezuela was financing the left-wing FMLN, which seeks to win the presidency in next year’s elections.
Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca said that he ordered Hernández to return to “find out at first hand” the situation so as not to make “irresponsible accusations.”
FMLN spokesman Sigfrido Reyes said that he rejected “in the most emphatic, forceful way” the U.S. account, which he described as “speculation and not really serious.”

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