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Was East bloc warned about Bogota siege?

Were ambassadors of the Soviet Union and the East bloc tipped off about the guerrilla takeover of the Dominican Republic Embassy in Bogota, Colombia? Colombian intelligence reports say that prospect is remote. Indeed, their reports suggest the five Soviet-bloc ambassadors' early departure from the embassy was most likely sheer coincidence.

Some Western analysts, for example, are convinced that these ambassadors had advance knowledge of the guerrilla plans and therefore left the Dominican Embassy Feb. 27 before the terrorists arrived.

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The ambassadors appeared to have departed as other ambassadors were arriving in order to attend a second fete -- a reception for the new East German ambassador, who had just presented his credentials to Colombian President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala.

Colombian information shows these same ambassadors frequently come early to diplomatic receptions -- and leave early.

"They are clearly not the life of these diplomatic receptions," Colombian officials commented. "They are a rather reticent group who seem to prefer each other's company and do not mix well."

This has not dissipated suspicions by some Western officials that the ambassadors may have had advance word about the raid by 30 or so members of the Movimiento 19 de Abril (Movement of April 19 or M-19).About 50 people, including 14 ambassadors, were taken hostage in the incident; 18 persons have been released.


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