Suspected ETA members say they were trained in Venezuela

– Judge Ismael Moreno of the Spanish National Court, ordered the imprisonment of Atristain Javier Gorosabel and Juan Carlos Besance Zugasti. Both were arrested on Sept. 29 along with Jesus Maria Besance Zugasti, accused of trying to rebuild an armed ETA group.

According to the judge’s order they took a statement, the first two were trained in Venezuela between July and August 2008 by Arturo Cubillas and Jose Lorenzo Ayestarán.

The judge ordered their imprisonment on the crimes of creating a terrorist organization and possession of weapons and explosives.

Arturo Cubillas was also mentioned in a criminal investigation last March, when Spanish Judge Eloy Velasco prosecuted several members of ETA and FARC for their alleged collaboration in attacks within Spain against Colombian officials. The alliance has mentioned a supposed “cooperation” of the Venezuelan Government. Among the accused at that point was Arturo Cubillas Fontan, who the judge noted “has, or has had, a public position in that country.”

Cubillas, married to a Venezuelan citizen who held various public offices since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999 was appointed director in 2005 under the Office of Management and Services of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands of Venezuela.

Judge Velasco also pointed him out as “ETA representative in that part of America since 1999, responsible for coordinating their relations with the FARC.”

According to the judge, “based on his efforts” various members of FARC trained four ETA members in the the state of Zulia, which borders with Colombia and were prepared to receive more members in the future.

The director of the Police and the Spanish Civil Guard, Francisco Javier Velázquez, traveled last May to Venezuela to improve cooperation between the security forces of both countries following the order of the judge of the Spanish National Court, which the Government in Venezuela described as “unacceptable” and “biased.”

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