According to a recent diplomatic cable sent by the United States Interest Section, the U.S. government has “reliable reporting indicating the presence of the ELN, the FARC, and the ETA members in Havana.” The cable, released this week by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks and published in the Spanish newspaper El Pais, reveals some possible shifts in relations between the FARC and Cuba.
The government of Cuba “allows these groups to enjoy R&R [rest and relaxation] in Cuba and receive medical care and other services,” the cable says. The cable also reports that Cuban government is able to influence the FARC, saying. “the Cuban Communist Party International Department (PCC/ID) has close relationships with the Clandestine Communist Party of Colombia (PCC) which serves as the political wing of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and to some extent the National Liberation Army (ELN) as well.”
The FARC have not historically had good relations with Cuba. This may be changing, however, with the help of an important intermediary: Venezuela. FARC leaders have established camps inside Venezuela, and Venezuela has facilitated the release of several high-profile kidnap victims in Colombia who were being held by the FARC.
The cables add that Basque Homeland and Freedome (ETA) members passed through the island after “assisting the FARC.” ETA’s specialty is bombs; the guerrillas detonated one on Tuesday killing four and injuring sixteen others.