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US Accuses Venezuelan Officials of Aiding FARC

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels (2000 file photo)
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels (2000 file photo)

The United States has accused four top Venezuelan officials of supporting the drug trafficking operations of Colombia's main rebel group.

The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday the four allies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez supplied arms, training and security for Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), but provided no details.

It barred Americans from doing business with Army General Oliver Alcala Cordones, intelligence official Ramon Isidro Madriz Moreno, Amilcar Figueroa, a prominent member of the ruling Socialist party and Chavez ally, Congressman Freddy Bernal.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro called the U.S. actions "abusive."

The Treasury Department says it will continue to target FARC activities in Venezuela.

The U.S. has been critical of Venezuela for not taking steps to disrupt drug trafficking across the border it shares with Colombia, creating tensions with President Chavez.

Tensions between the United States and the Socialist leader also surfaced last August when Mr. Chavez rejected the United States' nominee for ambassador to Caracas, Larry Palmer.

He was accused of making disparaging remarks about the Venezuelan government.

The U.S. responded by revoking the visa of the Venezuelan ambassador.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.