Venezuela

    President Hugo Chavez said Marxist rebels in neighboring Colombia should stop using kidnapping as a weapon in their war against the state, following the release of two women hostages this week. Chavez, who brokered the deal to release the hostages and is on good terms with rebel leaders, also repeated a call for the fighters to be labeled insurgents instead of terrorists. Chavez was showered with praise this week after the hostages were freed, but even allies like Ecuador balked at his call to drop the terrorist label. The groups use child soldiers and are accused of setting-off indiscriminate bombs in civilian areas. (Reuters)

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