- The Washington Times - Monday, August 30, 2004


Government, rebels may talk face-to-face

BOGOTA — The government said yesterday that it would consider a demand from the country’s main rebel guerrilla group for face-to-face talks about swapping jailed insurgents for dozens of hostages, including three U.S. military contractors.

President Alvaro Uribe’s administration had wanted to negotiate over the Internet. Resolving the differences could lead to the first negotiations in two years between the hard-line government and the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).


Rangel hits asylum for 3 Cubans in U.S.

CARACAS — Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel has condemned the United States for providing asylum to at least three Cuban dissidents accused of terrorist acts, El Universal newspaper reports.

Mr. Rangel’s criticism followed last week’s decision by Panama’s President Mireya Moscoso to pardon four Cubans, including Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted in Cuba for offenses including a 1976 attack on a Cuban passenger plane that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Barbados.

Three of the men are in Miami, while Mr. Carriles, a one-time CIA operative, is believed to be en route to the United States.


Denmark pledges $160 million in aid

COPENHAGEN — Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday that he was impressed by the Nicaraguan government’s efforts to fight corruption, as he and President Enrique Bolanos signed an accord promising Managua $160 million in aid over five years.

“We do that because we feel confident that President Bolanos and his government will continue the progress in Nicaragua,” said Mr. Rasmussen.

Weekly notes

Mexico City’s leftist mayor led about 200,000 demonstrators in a march to protest efforts to impeach him, using the event to unveil a 2006 presidential platform that hearkened back to Mexico’s old values of nationalism and an oil-based, state-supported economy. Protesters brought in by hundreds of buses mingled in the capital Sunday with supporters of Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who told supporters that he represents “los de abajo,” roughly “the underdogs,” the title of a famous novel about peasant rebels in Mexico’s 1910 Revolution. … U.S. rap singer Ja Rule will plead not guilty to charges of assault causing bodily harm brought by Toronto police, his Canadian attorney Steven Skurka said yesterday. The 28-year-old performer, whose real name is Jeffrey Atkins, is free on bail and did not attend the hearing. Mr. Skurka expects the case will go to trial in early 2005.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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