Cuba training guerrillas in Venezuela

Oct. 5, 2008 at 7:35 PM
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SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The Venezuelan government is operating a secret paramilitary training camp with the help of Cuban military advisers and leftist Colombian guerrillas.

The camp near San Cristobal offers six-week courses for 400 to 1,000 participants, El Nuevo Herald reported Sunday.

The first phase of training at the camp reportedly is political indoctrination through texts printed in Cuba. The second phase includes training in the use of light and heavy weaponry and explosives.

The government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has not responded to allegations about the training camp, but local officials have acknowledged its existence and the presence of Cubans.

Desarrollo Urbanite Caparo, a private tourism company that organizes trips to the area, says its services have been suspended for the time being because ''the government has taken the installations'' until January.

The trainees are intended to support Chavez in the type of guerrilla war the president has repeatedly vowed to wage in the event he's ousted from power, either by a military coup or the U.S. invasion he has alleged has been planned.

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