August 5, 2009

Lingering questions from Chávez’s press conference

Juan Cristóbal says: - Hugo Chávez gave an off-limits-to-the-locals press conference today. In it, he went in depth about the AT-4 missile launchers belonging to the Venezuelan Armed Forces and found in the hands of the FARC.

He gave a few explanations. What follows are his explanations as I understand them, and the questions that I'm still left wondering about.

I obviously wasn't there, and it's entirely possible these questions were answered, so if you have more insight or if you saw the ghastly thing, please share your info.

Chávez says: "The rocket launchers were stolen in 1995."
I ask: If that's the case, why didn't you tell the Colombians two months ago when you were alerted of their finding? Why did you not share this information with the Swedish government? And why wasn't the Colombian government aware these weapons had been stolen? Are the Venezuelan Armed Forces in such a state of disarray that it takes more than two months and a diplomatic incident with two countries to simply locate the precise fate of military weaponry? Who is going to take the blame for this delay?

Chávez says: "The rocket launchers had already been used and were useless."
I ask: Did the FARC not know this? Why would they be careful to stowe these weapons in remote parts of the jungle if they were basically useless military junk? How do you know they had been used already? And if that is the case, why is the Colombian government concerned? Are you suggesting the Colombian government doesn't know the rocket launchers were useless/had been used? Or are you suggesting they are feigning outrage over nothing?

Chávez says: "Serial numbers can be easily manipulated."
I ask: So, are you saying the serial numbers were manipulated in this case? If so, what are the real serial numbers of the rocket launchers? And if so, how do you know the ones Uribe found were the ones stolen in Cararabo? Are you saying the Swedish government is looking for an explanation based on fake serial numbers? And if they can be easily manipulated, who are you claiming manipulated them? Have you communicated all of this to the Swedish government? Have they accepted your explanation?

I'm just wonderin' ...