CARACAS, Venezuela — The U.S. government accused four allies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday of providing weapons and security to drug-trafficking Colombian rebels, and it barred Americans from doing business with them.
The Treasury Department said the four have collaborated with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and supported the rebel group’s “narcotics and arms trafficking activities.”
The four include Congressman Freddy Bernal, Gen. Cliver Alcala Cordones, intelligence official Ramon Isidro Madriz Moreno and Amilcar Figueroa, who has represented Venezuela in the regional Latin American Parliament.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro condemned the U.S. government’s action.
“This is part of the agenda of permanent aggression against Venezuela, always in the spirit of trying to build a sort of dossier that guarantees higher levels of aggression toward our country in the future,” Maduro said during an event at a Caracas hospital.
Figueroa has provided training to the rebels, “has served as a primary arms dealer for the FARC and is a main conduit for FARC leaders based in Venezuela,” the Treasury Department said.