Friday, March 07, 2008


The FARC's release of some hostages has brought more news about Ingrid Betancourt, who has been held by the FARC for more than six years in Columbia (or Ecuador or Venezuela?) that the state of her health seems to have become grave. Pierre Rousselin comments:
Les Farc n'ont aucun avenir en tant que guérilla marxiste-léniniste. Rejetées par l'immense majorité des Colombiens, elles ne ressusciteront pas un passé révolutionnaire qui n'a plus cours. Leur seul espoir est de survivre sur leur magot en tant que narcotrafiquants [survive on the money they make as ..]. Se servir d'Ingrid Betancourt pour exiger une légitimité politique n'a aucun sens. Comment accorder le moindre crédit à une organisation qui combat, à coup d'enlèvements et de tortures, un gouvernement démocratiquement élu ? (Ne pas se tromper d'ennemi, Editorial in Le Figaro,  29 Feb.)
That is comment from a conservative paper, of course. But if Ingrid Betancourt were to die in captivity, it would be another nail in the coffin of the stalinist illusion, that greatest deception of all: the "dictatorship of the proletariat". Another nail, as if one were needed: I don't need to detail all the previous ones, yet it lives on. Still you get people like George Galloway defending the record of Fidel's 49 years in power in Cuba (on Channel 4 News), people defending Hugo Chavez's suppression of opposition media (last May). 

A lot has happened in the last week, starting with the Columbian operation that led to the death of a top FARC leader, Raul Reyes. Still you get people who focus mainly on the violation of Ecuador's sovereignty, who are too ready to believe that the Columbian government is lying when it says it has found evidence that Raul Reyes was receiving support from Chavez (I don't know the truth or otherwise of these claims myself) or, like Chavez himself, who regard Reyes as a "true comrade".

The simple truth is:  It behoves all of us, especially those who consider themselves to be liberal or of the "left", to unequivocally condemn the actions of the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia.  It shouldn't be necessary to say that. But it is.


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