Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More on the Hostage Release

Differing translations means slightly different versions but it appears that the FARC has pledged to release 3 hostages: Clara Rojas, her infant son (born in captivity and fathered by a guerrilla) and Consuelo Gonzalez. This is the short version. The reuters version is probably the most complete. Although the BBC has more information about Rojas' son.

None of these have the comments from the FARC, however, calling the Colombian peace negotiator a "liar". You have to read spanish to get that at this point. I'll translate the relevant portion roughly:

In the seven point communique, the FARC insisted on a 45-day demilitarized zone in Florida and Pradera to concretize a humanitarian agreement. About the meeting zone (proposed by the government), they say it is a proposal for dialogue with "the liar Commissionar Restrepo, in an inhospitable, remote and clandestine place with a term of 30 days."

Likewise, they say that "the annulment of the management facilitator (Hugo Chavez) was an act of diplomatic barbary against the legitimate head of a brother state and against the Venezuelan people (who were) supportive of the request from Bogotá."

(Italics mine for clarity.)

It remains to be seen if this is just a Christmas gift or a commitment to restart the process with sincerity but I would suggest that the tone of the FARC communique was not particularly favorable for negotiations or for further hostages releases. Let's hope that the Uribe government responds to this in a positive fashion and has the testicular fortitude to ignore the fact that the FARC insisted on insulting them at the same time that they did something genuinely good.

Finally, further proving that Latin American Politics (or all politics) is never above the level of the average 4th grade playground, Venezuela's Chavez (from the above Reuters link):

"Let's hope Uribe doesn't know anything, because Uribe is capable of trying to block this release," he said."

Not to be outdone, Uribe:

"If I were the FARC, I would think, President Chávez is the successor of President Castro. President Chávez is one of the people who control oil worldwide. President Chávez elected this or that president in this or that country, and he can name any political party and any president in Colombia," said Uribe."

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words never hurt me! Nanananana booboo. Liar, liar pants on fire.



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