Public Statement from The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
We hear from the Colombian oligarchy and its generals the official announcement of the death of comrade and commander Alfonso Cano. Their guffaws and enthusiastic toasts still resound. All of the voices of the Establishment agree that this means the end of the guerrilla struggle in Colombia.
The only reality that symbolizes the death in combat of comrade Alfonso Cano, is the immortal strength of the Colombian people, who would rather die than live on their knees begging. The story of the struggles of this people is full of martyrs, women and men who never let their arm be twisted in the pursuit of equality and justice.
This will be neither the first time that the oppressed and exploited in Colombia are mourning one of its greatest leaders, nor the first they replace this mourning with the courage and absolute conviction of victory. Peace in Colombia will not be born from any guerrilla demobilization, but from the abolition of the causes that give rise to the uprising. There is a policy laid out and that is the one that shall continue.
Comrade and Commander Alfonso Cano has died. He has fallen most fervently convinced of the need for a political solution and for peace. Long live the memory of commander Alfonso Cano!
The following article about the death of FARC-EP leader Alfonso Cano is reprinted here from Xinhua:
BOGOTA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) said Saturday that despite the death of its top leader Alfonso Cano it would continue its guerrilla struggle and not give in to the government’s demand to surrender its weapons.
In a brief statement posted on the website of the New Colombia News Agency, the guerrilla group said that “the only reality that symbolizes the death in combat of comrade Alfonso Cano is the immortal strength of the Colombian people.”
The following is from bourgeois press service, Aljazeera:
Fire spits from the muzzle of a Russian-made machine gun. Assault rifles join the fray.
Leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas and Colombian counterinsurgency troops trade shots across a gorge.
The following analysis by James J. Brittain is from Fight Back! News:
In the Foreword to sociologist James Brittain’s Revolutionary Social Change in Colombia: The Origin and Direction of the FARC-EP, Pluto Press, 2010, James Petras states that during the period 1999-2001 the FARC-EP was recognized as “a belligerent force,* a legitimate interlocutor in peace negotiations by all major European and Latin American regimes. During this period FARC-EP was invited to France, Spain, Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Mexico, and elsewhere to discuss the peace process. During the same period, top US leaders and businesspeople, along with dozens of trade unionists and electoral politicians from across the spectrum, engaged the FARC-EP in a demilitarized zone in Colombia, where the United Nations mediated peace negotiations between the FARC and then President Pastrana. While Washington opposed the entire peace process and President Bill Clinton secured the passage of the huge multibillion dollar military package (Plan Colombia), the United States was not able to scuttle the process or pin the narco-terrorist label on the FARC-EP. It was only after Washington went to war against Iraq and Afghanistan, and the US-dominated mass media launched a massive and sustained propaganda blitz labeling all critics and adversaries of US global militarism that the ‘terrorist’ label was pinned on the FARC.” Testing the accuracy of the “terrorist” label, among other beliefs about the FARC, James Brittain embarked on an extensive examination of existing works, public documents, and other material, as well as five years of field studies in FARC territory.—Editor’s Note
*A belligerent force is defined as a state or entity engaged in war, a status recognized by international law. In report after report, it is not the FARC-EP, but state military and paramilitaries that have been named as by far the most egregious perpetrators of human rights violations in Colombia.
Is the FARC-EP (Really) a Terrorist Organization?
By James Brittain
In light of the recent activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) throughout sectors of the social justice and peace movement within the United States, it is increasingly apparent that even those interested in solidarity with sociopolitical organizations struggling with issues of marginalization and equity are viewed as a domestic threat or, at the very least, a target of national significance. For example, longtime peace and justice activists have been subpoenaed by the FBI as a result of their work, which critiques the economic and militaristic involvement of their government and military in Colombia.
The following is from Reflections by Comrade Fidel. Though The Marxist-Leninist does not agree with Fidel Castro’s criticisms of the FARC-EP, this is very helpful analysis of the developing situation in Colombia:
Three days ago, there was news printed that the Attorney General of Colombia, Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado had removed the prestigious Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba from her post and disqualified her from carrying out political office for 18 years, because of her alleged promoting and collaborating with the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). Faced with such an unusual and drastic measure taken against an elected post in the highest legislative body of state, Piedad has no alternative other than appealing to the very Attorney General who produced the measures.
It was logical that such arbitrariness would cause a mighty rejection, expressed by a wide range of political personalities, among them former prisoners of the FARC and relatives of those who had been liberated, thanks to the senator, former presidential candidates, persons who had held that high office, others who were or still are senators or members of the legislative power.