Two helicopters flew from a Venezuelan military base to Colombia on Wednesday to pick up four lawmakers held hostage for years in the jungle by Marxist guerrillas, in a diplomatic victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The red and white helicopters painted with the symbol of the Red Cross took off from a base close to the border and headed into Colombia, where the guerrillas are holding the three men and one woman.
Last month the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, released two politicians in a deal brokered by leftist Chavez, who has spent months in talks with the rebels, Latin Americas oldest left-wing insurgency.
But after close initial cooperation, Chavez and Colombia's conservative President Alvaro Uribe have bickered over the Venezuelan's mediation.
The release of the four lawmakers, who are all Colombians, would fuel hopes for a deal to free high-profile hostages French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans whose plight has drawn attention to captives held for years by the FARC.
The guerrilla fighters hold more than 40 politicians and soldiers among hundreds of hostages captured for ransom and political leverage.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Şubat 2008, 10:55