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  • Protesters calling for the repatriation of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, in Caracas, Venezuela in 2011

    Protesters calling for the repatriation of Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, in Caracas, Venezuela in 2011 | Photo: AFP

New documents reveal the right-wing international assassination network targeted European radicals, including Venezuelan militant Carlos the Jackal

Newly released documents reveal that Operation Condor, an international network of right-wing Latin American intelligence agencies, targeted European militants, primary among them, Venezuelan member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, known as Carlos the Jackal.

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Among a plethora of formerly top secret documents related to Operation Condor released by the Obama administration is a report presented to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee which outlines that while the main focus of Operation Condor was the “domestic” elimination of all leftist opposition to U.S. sponsored Latin American Dictatorships, the network soon turned its attention to left-wing militants in Europe.

The report describes that after the assassinations of the Bolivian ambassador in Paris, a Chilean official in the Middle East, and a Uruguayan attache in Paris, Operation Condor began to target “well-known European leftists,” among them Carlos the Jackal.

Born to a wealthy Marxist family in Venezuela, Carlos joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1970 and came to world prominence after his raid on the 1975 OPEC meeting in Vienna. During the raid Carlos took 42 hostages, ultimately releasing them after Austrian authorities agreed to his demand that they read a communiqué about the Palestinian cause on Austrian radio and television networks every two hours.

The planned assassination was called off after French and Portuguese authorities discovered the plot and “called in representatives of Condor countries to warn them to.call off the action.”

Carlos was eventually captured and tried for murder in France in 1997, where he was ultimately convicted for the 1975 murder of two Paris policemen.

At the time of his trial Carlos told the court, “When one wages war for 30 years, there is a lot of blood spilled – mine and others. But we never killed anyone for money, but for a cause – the liberation of Palestine.”

While in jail the self-described “professional revolutionary” reportedly began a correspondence with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who later described Carlos as “"one of the great fighters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation," and a "worthy heir of the greatest [leftist] struggles."


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