Venezuela to deport suspected rebels

AP News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2011 6:27 PM
Venezuela to deport suspected rebels

Venezuela deported two suspected Colombian rebels Monday, sending a positive message to other nations that want President Hugo Chavez to ensure suspected terrorists do not find haven in Venezuela.

Carlos Julio Tirado Hernandez and Carlos Duban Perez Marin, suspected members of the National Liberation Army, were captured near Guasdualito, a town along Venezuela's southern border with Colombia on March 17, authorities said.

The two men, who are suspected of participating in an armed attack on Colombian marines, were taken to Caracas' Simon Bolivar International Airport on Monday for return to Colombia, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Venezuela's decision to deport the suspects came as the leaders of Colombia and Spain said they expected Chavez to guarantee that members of terrorist groups, including Colombia's two rebel armies and the Basque militant group ETA in Spain, are not permitted to hide out in Venezuela.

"I hope that he cooperates so that any terrorist or terrorist groups can face trial," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said during a meeting with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Madrid.

Rodriguez Zapatero said he hopes that Venezuela approves Spain's request for the extradition of Arturo Cubillas, who holds a government job in Venezuela and is accused in Spain of helping ETA members get explosives training with Colombian rebels in Venezuela.

Cubillas insists he is innocent.