August 2, 2009

Play it again, S.A.M.

Quico says: Simón Romero's NYTimes story today detailing new evidence of Venezuela's continued, close cooperation with FARC will send a chill down your spine.

We learn that he-who-shall-soon-have-the-power-to-block-access-to-Caracas-Chronicles, Gen. Henry Rangel Silva, was involved in helping to provide FARC with Russian made, man-portable SA-7 Surface-to-Air-Missiles (SAMs).

If true - and the Times says it doesn't know whether the deal went through in the end - this would be exceedingly sensitive. Because, think about it: how many tanks actually see combat in Colombia?! Not a lot. Those unguided Swedish AT4s - while certainly cool to look at and exceedingly unpleasant if fired in your general direction - were never going to be game-changers in the Colombian conflict.

But everything the Colombian army does it does with helicopters. Give FARC the means to shoot down choppers and the Colombian conflict changes dramatically, which is why having SAM-toting guerrillas running around below the forest cover is basically the cachaco brass's worst nightmare.

In the end, the part that alarms me the most is that a bichito brutish enough to help FARC get its hands on guided missiles is soon going to be running the State Telecoms company.

May Diosdado agarrate us confesated.