Venezuela, Spain and ETA: Goat that turns around breaks it’s neck off

October 6, 2010

For years, Chavez’ Government has been protecting members of Basque Spanish separatist group ETA. In reality, this is a long tradition by which Venezuela allowed some ETA members to come to Venezuela, the difference is that under Chavez these people have been hired by the Government and used in many activities, some legal, others not so legal.

Over the years, there have been many accusations, but the Chavez Government had a written party line for it: Just because a renegade terrorists says so it is not necessarily so.

Except that in most cases denounced in Spain, one name appears over and over: Arturo Cubillas. Cubillas was deported in the late eighties to Venezuela, married a Venezuelan of Basque origins. But rather than lead a quiet life, he continued his ETA activities, linking up with the FARC, according to Reyes’ computer files. Cubillas also managed to get himself hired as an aide to the then Minister of Agriculture Elias Jaua, now the Vice-President of Venezuela.

But through it all, Zapatero’s sympathies for Chavez and his socialist pseud-revolution, held off the cries of the Spanish opposition for a formal complaint.

Until now.

Hot from having a Spanish Deputy formally kicked out as an electoral observer, even if the decision was turned over, and scandalized with the manipulation of the Sept. 26th. election, Spain’s Partido Popular came back home after the election ready to establish a zero tolerance policy for Hugo.

And no sooner had they said September 26th. on the way back, when a Spanish Judge  revealed that two ETA terrorists arrested last week had testified that they were given weapons training in Venezuela and specifically with Arturo Cubillas in Venezuela during the summer of 2008. This was not the first time a JUdge asked Venezuela for information on Cubillas’ activities, except that it was almost met with either silence or denial.

And Chavez appealed to the textbook explanation: “It’s a broken record…it’s a conspiracy…it’s a farce” easily dismissing the news and the request from the Judge.

Except the Spanish National Audience sent a formal request against and vouched for the “total credibility” of the witnesses, at the same time that a TV station showed video of the training taking place in Venezuela. And to make matters even worse, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Spain, former Prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez, held a press conference not only denying any link with ETA, but suggesting that the two ETA players were tortured in Spain to say this and saying he had serious doubts about their statements. Rodriguez, the same guy who once “knew a false witness was telling the truth because he looked him in the eye” and made a farce of Justice in Venezuela while being the General Prosecutor, also dismissed the fact that Cubillas was a “seventh or eighth” category official within the Venezuelan Government.

This truly irked the the Partido Popular who requested the Spanish Government elevate a formal protest to the Venezuelan Government. They were particularly irked by Rodriguez’ suggestion and undiplomatic statements about Spain and the Spanish Government.

That’s what happens when you have bumbling fools as diplomats to reward them for their loyalty. Unfortunately, that’s the story of Chavez’ Government, incompetent fools everywhere.

And today, the Spanish Government put the screws on Venezuela, asking Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Maduro to please look into the matter. And the charges and the pissed-off Spaniards forced the Venezuelan Government to investigate.

What changed?

Easy. These charges are very serious. This is not linking up to FARC, this a middle level Government official training terrorists in Venezuela, now, as recent as 2008. But more importantly, ideology and business have always been Zapatero’s justification for cozying up to Hugo Chavez.

But now there are hints that Chavez’ hold on power may end in 2012 and Chavez is nationalizing a Spanish concern Agroisleña, which I am sure has Zapatero up in arms, but he is likely trying to learn as much as possible about the expropriation before he launches his next formal complaint.

For Chavez, backing down is novel vis a vis the Spaniards. There is a Venezuelan saying: “Chivo que se devuelve se esnuca” (A goat that turns around breaks its neck off), which loosely translated means “What is done is done”.

But this is a new reality for Hugo. Some see the possibility of his reign ending and that changes the rules of the game. He nationalized Agroisleña, but that has an impact on the Spaniards. He denies the ETA connection, but Cubillas is right there at a middle level (not seventh category, more like third or fourth) position in his VP”s former Ministry.

It stinks to high heaven…but Chavez has always thought he could do things and have nobody notice. But it is beginning to back fire.

What will he do? Extradite Cubillas? Revert Agroisleña’s nationalization?

Chivo que se devuelve se esnuca…

22 Responses to “Venezuela, Spain and ETA: Goat that turns around breaks it’s neck off”

  1. megaescualidus Says:

    I thought it wouldn’t be totally off-topic to post today’s Laureano Marquez article in Tal Cual:

    It is always refreshing to get a comic’s viewpoint (if the comic is of Marquez’s caliber).

  2. A_Antonio Says:

    I have to not be agreeing in part with this post.

    The Occidental Culture has a grave moral crisis, examples are Spain with Venezuela and Cuba one side, and the world with China, and they have economical cynical approach.

    As Chine dissident win Peace Novel Price, it will not change nothing in the authoritarian regime, nor the relationships of Occidental countries with China.

    Spain has Telefonica as hosted, and has commercial agreement, if actually they are dealing with more commercial trades in arms and naval chips.

    All will be done under the table and try to deal it with cynical approach. Meanwhile, small Spanish farmers and company owners have go to the line to try to Spain help them to have a small paid for expropriates properties. Probe are the farmers protesting outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas.

  3. HalfEmpty Says:

    This blog isn’t about the USA. Let it go. We have similiar concerns and common ground in Vz.

  4. megaescualidus Says:


    Thank you for posting a link to the video.

  5. Ty Says:

    Gweh, not close, I don’t think. US indict Chavez?? That is a tall order, he is after all, a head of state, democratically elected. Jimmy Carter even certified the election(s), Chavez can say he was meeting the the FARC to talk to them about giving up. He has no need to check with the US. Venezuela is in what most of the rest of the world see as the US backyard, so to speak. The US voters would never understand an invasion, on those grounds alone. So let’s look at the evidence, this is not a head of state having a one to one meeting with the FARC, where anything that was said is hearsay. No, if true, this guy was deported to Venezuela on grounds he was involved in terrorist plotting and planning. Now he goes to Venezuela, gets a job in the gov, ok so far. Later begins to train ETA underlings, so the question is: Did Spain have the goods? Was Spain able to piece together their ETA histories and travels both prior and post Venezuela? Where Spain could prove they were terrorists and members or a terrorist organization prior to traveling to Venezuela where they got terrorist training only to return to Spain. That is not exactly hearsay, that is a trail of corroborating evidence, that leads to the conclusion that here in a specific case it appears that Venezuela is harboring a terrorist that has not given up his terrorist ways, and he and now they by association could be viewed as supporting a terrorist and training terrorists that are then later going back to the EU to do their dirty deeds.

    Now, for being that involved with a terrorist and training terrorists, just about any State with any skin in the game could begin freezing accounts. A chilling thought.

    Also as for invading Venezuela, no the US never, but we would back our allies in the region if they were attacked by Venezuela… # lights # out # night # not back # several hours, during which time… command # removed # military # not # functioning # Air Force …in the area of days. (I shortened due to conjecture)

    In all seriousness the US has a foul weather military and mostly Navy. I have read and heard enough to believe this, when the US wishes to reach and teach, they tell the local aircraft carrier to wait for foul weather and when the weather is foul and night we send a lone pair without targeting radar on, ie friendly. Now who has pilots that fly off of an aircraft carrier in foul weather at night? Did you know that most countries don’t fly fighter jets in foul weather at night from land based airstrips. The planes are too expensive and pilots too valuable to risk. For the US the desired message is sent and received.

    Seriously those drones, Global Hawk, have to be giving people reason to pause even though there are so many thousands of miles of territory and the US/Colombia are looking for a special few hundred yards, a mystery wrapped in an enigma. No time soon.

  6. Kepler Says:


    Not like Bush, who supported such beacons of democracy as the heads of state of Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kazakhstan, Algeria, Ethiopia and Kenya. We could find examples galore for virtually every US president since the early XIX century.

  7. RWG Says:

    In response, it is Obama. He wants to be Best Friends Forever with every nasty leader on the planet. Obama shows little concern for others.

  8. Kepler Says:


    I understand you are a Venezuelan and now also a US American. I applaud your efforts to integrate fully, that’s the way to go. Still, I have this slight impression you are trying to be more US American than uncle Sam on steroids, defending all those claiming to be “real America” as not even a descendant of the Mayflower people would.
    “And we can bomb you all, and we have a bigger one than yours. Don’t mess with us, don’t mess with us!”
    Calm down.

    The Sun is a business success in Britain, it is the most widely read newspaper in the island.
    This is The Sun:

    The most widely read newspaper in Germany is probably still Bild.


    Island is right.

  9. island canuck Says:

    “…FOX is the best run news organization on the planet.”

    Listening to Fox News is like listening to VTV.

  10. GWEH Says:

    Ty, so you know where were are: the United States Government has enough to place Venezuela on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, indict Chavez and cohorts and invade Venezuela. If it really wanted to. So where are we? Ask yourself why USG is staying mum.

  11. GWEH Says:

    Jussep you want to know the truth? John and Bill are great they are geniuses but they are naive when it comes to Latam.

  12. GWEH Says:

    nice to see the idiots chime in again on FOXNews. They dominate in ratings and make more money than all other news organizations combined. Beck and Greta defected from CNN to FOX. It’s about business and FOX is the best run news organization on the planet. All I hear is sour grapes.

  13. GWEH Says:

    the original ETA relocation program began under CAP2. Under this program, ETAs were relocated to Venezuela with new identities. The identities of these ETAs was only known to one person, a Disip sheriff. When Chavez came into power, the file was burned so the whereabouts of those ETAs is not known. It was not a lot and they were behaving back then.

  14. Kepler Says:


    It is not all either or. As I said: there are some characters more inclined to support Chavismo because of their ideologies. Check out details on Montesinos, look further afield to politicians such as Sarah Wagenknecht, from the extreme left in Germany. But yes, basically the biggest motivations are money and public perception in their own country about their own domestic issues (ETA, for instance). Human rights elsewhere? “Not my business”. That is the same for the US, Russia, China, Israel, France y pare de contar. My impression is there are few countries where there is a strong move to try to be a bit fairer and more consistent (mostly and only partially Norway and…hell, I can’t think about any other country).

  15. Jussep Says:

    please don’t be naives.
    If the US at a daily basis reconfirms the credo “we do not have friends, only interests” why the rest (Spain) can’t do the same?.
    It’s just plain business my friends and a suggestion, change from time to time your FOX TV dials to Bill Maher or Jon Stewart you’ll be happier!

  16. Kepler Says:

    Miguel, thanks for all the details.

    I reckon Rodríguez is not supporting Chávez for ideological reasons at all but for business interests. Rodríguez Zapatero is rather a pragmatic who just wants to stay in power – within the Spanish law, of course.

    I would see more ideological reasons from people such as Moratinos and people like Miguel Ángel Martínez Martínez, a person who has very openly defended Chávez.

  17. JFE Says:

    As it is well known, looking for foreign enemies turns attention away from internal problems.

    I ask myself if the Zapatero problem, may eventually decide to use the Chavez connection as distraction to the financial problems that Spain is facing right now.

  18. Ty Says:

    My guess is this has much more to do with money, terrorism, and electronic money transfers. Bush and company worked with the global banking systems and governments to enact laws that make a government directly involved in terrorism think twice about thumbing their nose at a terrorism charge. If Spain could backup the question with enough facts it cannot be dismissed and many global banks will start thinking twice about handling any electronic money transfers. Those laws are really starting to have an effect, things like this take time to get established and the proper enforcement and monitoring in place, it ain’t easy. So while those laws have been around for awhile now it is much easier and seamless to monitor and police. My guess is that money, made the pig not the goat, turn around.

  19. moctavio Says:

    Mega: It was in Globovision yesterday, can’t find it today.

  20. Gringo Says:

    With Miguel’s reference to Spain and to goats, here is a video of a Golden Eagle dragging mountain oats off cliffs in Spain. Enjoy. [Capra pyrenaica]

  21. megaescualidus Says:

    “…at the same time that a TV station showed video of the training taking place in Venezuela.”

    Does anyone have a link to this video?

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