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| 3/4/2010 12:00:00 AM

Chávez dismisses Spanish claim of rebel links

March 4--President Hugo Chávez said Wednesday that his administration did not support terrorist groups, in his first response to a Spanish judge who accused Venezuela of having links with Basque separatists and a rebel group in Colombia.

Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain had asked Venezuela to explain itself after the judge said Monday that Venezuelan soldiers and a man accused of being a Basque separatist working for the Caracas government had facilitated a meeting between the separatists and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Both organizations are considered terrorist groups by European governments.

“This is a government that does not and will not support terrorist groups — we are of peace, of friendship,” Mr. Chávez said in a televised speech.

“Zapatero, I have nothing to explain, friend, nothing,” Mr. Chávez said. “If you want explanations, then ask that irresponsible judge in your country.”
 
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