CARACAS, Wednesday February 27, 2008 | Update
The helicopters bearing the logo of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) picked up former lawmakers (Photo: Efe)
Minister of the Venezuelan Presidency Jesse Chacón Wednesday
informed that rebel Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC)
already delivered four hostages to a humanitarian delegation
headed by the International Committee of the Red Cross and
Venezuelan Interior Minister Ramón Rodríguez Chacín.
"The delegation has completed the first stage. They landed at the place previously set and the FARC delivered the persons to them. Minister Rodríguez Chacín talked to President Hugo Chávez, who had a chance to talk directly to some of the people released," Chacón explained.
According to Chacón, the two helicopters are in their way to Santo Domingo air base, Táchira state, southwest Venezuela. From there, the delegation and the former hostages will get on board a number of airplanes bound for Maiquetía, coastal Vargas state, near Caracas.
"Let us hope this is a happy day for their relatives. We know it will be. We want you to know that your relatives are in our hands, sound and safe. Let us hope that this step allows us to continue to move on with new liberations and to achieve peace in Colombia."
The rebel group freed former lawmakers Gloria Polanco and Luis Eladio Pérez, and former senators Orlando Beltrán and Jorge Eduardo Géchem, who were kidnapped in 2001-2002.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.