January 26, 2001: Newsgroups soc.culture.cuba, soc.rights.human Feb. 2, 2001: Newsgroups soc.culture.cuba, alt.politics.communism, alt.politics.usa.congress, alt.politics.usa.misc, alt.politics.usa.republican, alt.politics.media, us.politics, talk.politics.misc

CubDest Editorial, Jan. 26, 2001

Powell, Colombia, the "dialog" and the blind who do not want to see

Next January 31 expires in Colombia the deadline for the government to renew or not the use by the communist narco-guerrillas of a strategic territory of 42 thousand square kilometers, originally given so that the so-called "peace negotiations" could be celebrated there.

Reliable polls like those from the Colombian TV station Caracol, confirm a public clamor of more than 80% asking president Pastrana not to renew those negotiations, which have only served to strengthen the guerrillas supported from Cuba.

In spite of such popular clamor and assurances from the Army that they are ready to retake at any moment that strategic zone presently in the hands of the guerrillas, the Colombian president does not lose the opportunity to reinstate his position of dialog at any cost, risking going down in History as the Colombian Kerensky.

In that delicate context the Secretary of State Colin Powell, in declarations made before the Senate of his own country, has categorically affirmed: "I back up the stand of president Pastrana in relation to the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)."

With those words what Powell is supporting is a process of "dialog" between the government of Colombia and the cruel narco-guerrillas whose fragile premises, negated daily by the pessimistic reality, is that these would have sincere intentions of peace.

What Powell endorses in relation to the FARC is a "peace process" through which the government conceded the referred area of 42 thousand square kilometers, supposedly to facilitate the negotiations, but in reality have been used to hide people who have been kidnapped, to militarily recruit and train hundreds of adolescents, to produce cocaine, to store guns, etc.

What Powell supports in relation to the ELN is a similar project by which the Colombian government will concede to that guerrilla group, which is notoriously connected to communist Cuba, another strategic territorial area, alleging that this would also facilitate the "peace" talks.

What Powell props up are negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN, which by the request of president Pastrana are being supervised by a group of "friendly countries," which among them is no less than communist Cuba; by which the Colombian dignitary introduced the fox in the hen house.

We do not question the good intention that animates the Secretary of State Powell in relation to Colombia and Latin America. But judging by the referred declarations, his vision about this South American strategic country is candid; and, because it corresponds to such a high authority of the most powerful material country in the world, is extremely dangerous.

The American Secretary of State has the possibility to open his eyes and ears to the facts presented by honest figures, genuinely conservatives, of Colombia and other Latin American countries, in such a manner that those contributions could help him see clearly the reality of Colombia and the region. In this crucial moment for Latin America, we should not forget the warning of the popular wisdom that says that there are no worse blind people than those who do not want to see.