Ramón Rodríguez Chacín

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Ramon Rodriguez Chacín
Governor of Guarico
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 2012
Preceded by Luis Gallardo
Minister of Interior and Justice
In office
January 2002 – May 2002
Preceded by Luis Miquilena
Succeeded by Diosdado Cabello
Minister of Interior and Justice
In office
January 2008 – September 2008
Preceded by Pedro Carreño
Succeeded by Tarek El Aissami

Ramón Rodríguez Chacín[1] is a Venezuelan politician. A retired naval officer, he was Minister of the Interior and Justice in 2002,[1] and again in 2008.[2] He took part in the November 1992 coup attempt.

Early years[edit]

Rodríguez Chacín specialized in counter-insurgency and counter-intelligence tactics while serving in the military of Venezuela. He graduated from the Venezuelan Naval School in 1970.[3]

Cejap[edit]

Rodríguez Chacín was one of the founders of the Comando Específico José Antonio Páez (Cejap), an elite group of police and military forces intended to fight Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (Colombia) (ELN) guerrillas.

1992 Coup d'état attempts[edit]

On November 27, 1992, Rodriguez Chacín was involved in the November 1992 attempted coup d'état[3] (not to be confused with Hugo Chávez' February 1992 attempted coup). Rodríguez Chacín was jailed and served two years on charges of treason and rebellion.[citation needed]

Hugo Chávez government[edit]

With the election of Hugo Chávez as president of Venezuela in 1999, Rodríguez Chacín worked as his intelligence chief.

Minister of the Interior (I)[edit]

Rodriguez Chacín was Minister of the Interior in 2002 (from January),[4] being replaced in May 2002 by Diosdado Cabello.[5]

Operation Emmanuel[edit]

In 2007 Rodríguez Chacín played a key role[citation needed] in organizing Operation Emmanuel, designed to fly into Colombia and receive three Colombian hostages held by the FARC in the jungles as part of a plan to push the Colombian government for a humanitarian exchange of hostages for prisoners.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the videotaped coverage of the hostage release showed minister Rodriguez Chacín telling FARC rebels "We are with you... Be strong. We are following your cause."[6]

Release of Polanco, Gechem, Beltran and Perez[edit]

In January 2008 another liberation of four Colombian hostages by the FARC was managed by Rodríguez Chacín.

Minister of the Interior (II)[edit]

Rodriguez Chacín was appointed Minister of the Interior for a second time in January 2008, replacing Pedro Carreño.[7]

Rodriguez Chacín, the Minister of Interior and Justice, stepped down on September 8, 2008: "For strictly personal grounds, I have decided to leave my job. President Hugo Chávez, our Commander-in-Chief has decided that the new interim Minister will be my colleague and comrade, Tarek El Aissami" (who is now[vague] deputy minister of citizen security).[dead link][8][9]

Allegations of links to FARC[edit]

The German magazine Der Spiegel reported in 2008 that Rodriguez Chacín was a frequent guest at FARC camps in Colombia and that Hugo Chávez had assigned him the task of managing communications with FARC.[10] In September 2008, The U.S. Department of the Treasury accused Rodriguez Chacín of materially assisting FARC's narcotics trafficking activities;[11][12][13] the Venezuelan government said he was not guilty of those charges.[14]

US intelligence officials claimed that in an email between Rodriguez Chacín and the FARC leadership that he asked to train Venezuela's military in guerrilla tactics as preparation in case the United States invades. They also claimed that regarding an alleged 250 million dollar Venezuelan loan to buy weapons, Rodriguez Chacín wrote: "don't think of it as a loan, think of it as solidarity". The source for these documents was allegedly a 2008 cross-border raid by Colombian military into Ecuador which destroyed a FARC camp. Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez stated, "We don't recognized [sic] the validity of any of these documents... They are false, and an attempt to discredit the Venezuelan government."[15][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Venezuela's interior minister resigns". AP. January 24, 2002. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ (Spanish) Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, 9 September 2008, Tarek El Aissami se desempeñará como nuevo titular del MIJ
  3. ^ a b Marrero, Rodolfo Cardona (December 6, 2000). "Comecandela al servicio del palacio de Miraflores". El Universal. Retrieved February 8, 2010. Rodríguez Chacín fue uno de los participantes en el fallido intento de golpe del 27 de noviembre de 1992. 
  4. ^ Orlando Sentinel, 25 January 2002, Chavez kicks out mentor
  5. ^ "Venezuela president names new cabinet", BBC News, May 6, 2002.
  6. ^ Kraul, Chris (2008-01-20). "Chavez keeps up campaign to get rebels off terrorist list". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  7. ^ (Spanish) El País, 5 January 2008, Chávez desacelera la marcha hacia el nuevo socialismo
  8. ^ [dead link]www.pr-inside.com/venezuela, Venezuela's justice minister steps down
  9. ^ Rodríguez Chacín leaves the Ministry of the Interior and Justice, El Universal, September 8, 2008, Retrieved on February 8, 2010
  10. ^ "How Hugo Chavez Courted FARC". Der Spiegel. April 6, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  11. ^ Arostegui, Martin (Mar 10, 2009). "Venezuela cited for drugs". Washington Times. 
  12. ^ Ballesteros, Frank Lopez (May 10, 2014). "Nine Venezuelan government officials in the US list of drug trafficking". El Universal. 
  13. ^ "Treasury Targets Venezuelan Government Officials Supporting the FARC". U.S. Department of the Treasury press release. September 12, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  14. ^ Romero, Simon (August 2, 2009). "Venezuela Still Aids Colombia Rebels, New Material Shows". The New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  15. ^ "US calls computer files linking Chavez to FARC authentic: report". Agence France Press. May 9, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2010. 
  16. ^ De Córdoba, José (November 25, 2008). "Chávez Lets Colombia Rebels Wield Power Inside Venezuela". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 8, 2010.