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FARC

Colombia peace talks: Interview with FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko)

Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko).

September 27, 2012 -- The following interview with top comandante of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Peoples’ Army) Timoleon Jimenez (Timochenko) was conducted by Carlos Lozano, editor of the Colombian weekly newspaper VOZ. It was translated into English by John Catalinotto for the US-based socialist newspaper Workers' World. It is posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal in the interests of informing the discussion around the peace talks in Colombia.

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“The President repeats that he is not thinking of repeating the mistakes of the past and we hope this is so. You know that the biggest mistake of all the earlier peace processes has been to come to the table to demand we surrender”, Comandante Timoleón Jiménez told the editor of VOZ.

Colombia: What prospects for the peace negotiations between FARC and government?

Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) fighters walk in San Isidro, Colombia, May 30.

See also "Colombia: The end for guerrilla warfare?" For more coverage of Colombia, click HERE.

By Anthony Boynton, Bogota

September 12, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The government of Colombia on September 4 announced that it had begun peace negotiations with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarios de Colombia (FARC, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The news was quickly confirmed by the FARC. Although FARC still leads thousands of armed fighters and has the financial resources to continue fighting, the decimation of its leadership combined with its political isolation has brought it to the point of no return. It has entered a new peace process with the government of Juan Manuel Santos with far less than it had to bargain with when it sat down at the negotiating table with the government of Andres Pastrana more than a decade ago.

Colombia: The end for guerrilla warfare?

FARC guerillas.

[For more discussion on Colombia, click HERE.]

By Anthony Boynton, Bogotá, Colombia

March 25, 2012 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As long as there are sleepy, oppressed, oppressive and isolated villages connected to a city somewhere over the hill by an unpaved road with bridges that might wash out in the next storm, guerrilla warfare will be possible. But those villages are fast disappearing into memory as the extension of electric grids and networks of paved roads extend into every corner of what used to be called the Third World.

Colombia rising?

The population of Bogotá, capital of Colombia, is about to pass 8 million.

By Anthony Boynton, Bogotá, Colombia

December 26, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- It may not be the mother of all bubbles, but it is a whopper. Colombia’s economy is rising as fast as a hot air balloon, but one that is almost certain to burst. Mining, petroleum, industrial agriculture and construction are all growing at record rates – fueled by a flood tide of investment, much of it foreign investment – directed by the World Bank and its local allies within the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, and made possible by the dispossession of millions of Colombians from the countryside through decades of violence combined with disastrous flooding caused by global warming.

Colombian cities have being growing as fast as any in the world. There are now more than 25 cities with populations of more than 200,000, at least five cities with more than 1 million people, three with more than 2 million; Bogotá the capital is about to pass 8 million.

Colombia: The mass movement re-emerges

By Anthony Boynton, Bogotá, Colombia

November 10, 2011 -– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- At times masked beneath decades of paramilitary repression and hidden behind headlines about Colombia’s armed guerrilla armies, Colombia’s mass movement has survived against all odds. It is now reemerging into the light of day, seemingly without notice in the international press.

On November 9, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos seemed to retreat in the face of a massive nationwide student strike that has lasted since October 12. Santos offered to withdraw his “educational reform” bill from the Colombian congress and sit down to negotiate with the student movement.

Students responded with a massive demonstration today that closed all of the major thoroughfares of the city. (See photos from El Tiempo, the main newspaper of Colombia.)

From La Violencia to the War on Terror: A re-examination of Colombia’s FARC-EP inside Bolivar’s 'Gran Colombia'

FARC guerillas.
La revolución no será calco ni copia, sino creación heroica (The revolution will not be traceable or a copy, but a heroic creation).

-- Jose Carlos Mariategui (1894–1930)

[For more discussion on Colombia, click HERE.]

By Oliver Villar and Drew Cottle

November 3, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Colombia is the first Latin American country to become subjected to the theatre of United States anti-guerrilla warfare. Colombia has also one of the richest histories of revolutionary politics on the continent extending well over half a century. It is throughout this time, that Colombia has been the battleground of an undeclared civil war.

Two mutually complementary causes are traceable. First, Colombia’s compradores, the national business and landlord classes have waged a life and death battle against the landless poor. Second, a policy of repression and repossession has been pursued by the Colombian ruling class with the financial and military support of the USA.

Colombia must free Joaquin Perez Becerra

Statement from the Socialist Alliance in Australia

May 14, 2011 -- The Socialist Alliance calls on the Colombian government to immediately release independent media activist Joaquin Perez Becerra, who is now facing charges of “terrorism”.

Perez Becerra, a refugee from Colombia, is a Swedish citizen. We also call on the Swedish government to do its upmost to defend the rights of one of its citizens.

Under Article 33(1) of the Geneva Convention, no refugee shall be returned “in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”.

We also call on the Venezuelan government, which complied with Colombia's request to deport Perez Becerra to Colombia, to demand that Colombia respect the rights due to Perez Becerra under international conventions.

Perez Becerra, a strong voice in defence of human rights in Colombia, was forced to leave Colombia in 1993 following the murder of his wife and constant death threats against him due to his membership in the Union Patriotica (UP).

As a member of this democratic and legally registered party, Perez Becerra was elected city councillor in Corinto, Valle del Cauca. However, a state-sponsored campaign of violence and terror against the UP resulted in the assassination of more than 4000 UP members.

(updated Sept. 26) United States: Solidarity needed! FBI raids left activists under guise of `anti-terrorism'

Against the Current -- On September 24, the FBI conducted raided the homes of antiwar and left activists in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina. These provocations, under the guise of "anti-terrorism", appear to have targeted leaders of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, which publishes the Fight Back! newspaper and website. The articles below are from Fight Back! News, Twin Cities IndyMedia and War Times

Video interviews with two activists whose homes were raided

Colombia & United States threaten attack -- Stop the lies and aggression against Venezuela!

A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

July 24, 2010 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network -- On July 22, Venezuela broke off all diplomatic relations with Colombia and placed its national borders on high alert. This follows accusations made by the Colombian government that Venezuela is harbouring “terrorists” from the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and hosting several “terrorist training camps” near the border region that divides the two countries.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States in Washington on July 22, called for by Colombia, Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented television and video images allegedly taken from computers confiscated during the Colombian military’s illegal invasion of Ecuadorian territory in March 2008, as well as some computer-generated maps and photographs of alleged members of the FARC, which he said were taken inside Venezuela. Hoyos called for “international intervention” in Venezuela, and gave a “30-day ultimatum”.

Venezuela: Socialist party prepares for ‘transition to socialism’; PSUV discussion document

By Federico Fuentes, Caracas

August 8, 2009 -- On August 1, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) members across the country participated in 1556 local assemblies to discuss the reorganisation of the party’s base into local ``patrols''. 

This push to strengthen revolutionary organising comes at a time when attacks on Venezuela’s revolutionary process revolution “from outside and within have intensified”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, also president of the PSUV, said on August 4.

“Each time that the revolution advances and accelerates its march, the attacks intensify. I will continue to put my foot down on the accelerator of the Bolivarian revolution. That is my role, that is my task and there is no time to lose. Today, in Venezuela, we are creating a true socialist democracy.”

After his re-election in the December 2006 presidential elections, Chavez issued a call to build a “new party… from the base” and at the service “of the people and the revolution, at the service of socialism”.

Fidel on Colombia, FARC and opposition to US intervention: `Pax Romana'

By Fidel Castro Ruz

July 5, 2008 -- I basically drew the data [below] from statements made by William Brownfield, US ambassador to Colombia, from that country's press and television, from the international press and other sources. It's impressive the show of technology and economic resources at play.

While in Colombia the senior military officers went to great pains to explain that Ingrid Betancourt's rescue had been an entirely Colombian operation, the US authorities were saying that “it was the result of years of intense military cooperation of the Colombian and United States’ armies”.

“`The truth is that we have been able to get along as we seldom have in the United States, except with our oldest allies, mostly in NATO', said Brownfield, referring to his country's relationships with the Colombian security forces, which have received over US$4 billion in military assistance since the year 2000.''

“…on various occasions it became necessary for the US Administration to make decisions at the top levels concerning this operation.''

Colombia: Behind the freeing of Ingrid Betancourt

By Stuart Munckton

July 5, 2008 -- On July 2, an operation by the Colombian military succeeded in freeing French-Colombian citizen Ingrid Betancourt from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who had held her prisoner since 2002. Betancourt was the highest-profile FARC-held prisoner and the action, which also liberated 14 other prisoners, captured world headlines.

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More on the struggle in Colombia HERE.

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On July 2, an operation by the Colombian military succeeded in freeing French-Colombian citizen Ingrid Betancourt from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who had held her prisoner since 2002. Betancourt was the highest-profile FARC-held prisoner and the action, which also liberated 14 other prisoners, captured world headlines.

Fidel on Trujillo; honesty in journalism; and the release of Ingrid Betancourt

The true story and the challenge of the Cuban journalists

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Excerpt: ``Out of a basically humanist sentiment, we rejoiced at the news that Ingrid Betancourt, three US citizens and other captives had been released. The civilians should have never been kidnapped, nor should they have been kept prisoners in the conditions of the jungle. These were objectively cruel actions. No revolutionary purpose could justify it. The time will come when the subjective factors should be analysed in depth.''

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By Fidel Castro Ruz

July 3, 2008 -- Seven days ago I wrote about one of the great men in history: Salvador Allende, a man the world remembered with deep emotion and respect on his first centennial. However, no one quivered or even recalled the date of October 24, 1891, when the Dominica Republic's despot Rafael Leonidas Trujillo was born, eighteen years before our admired Chilean brother.

US/Colombia hands off Venezuela and Ecuador! Act now to stop war in Latin America

Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network

March 5, 2008 -- What only a few days ago seemed like a remote prospect has suddenly become a real possibility. The Colombian military’s brutal massacre of 21 (at last count) guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia -– Peoples Army (FARC-EP), including Raul Reyes, the FARC's chief negotiator and spokesperson, in Ecuador on March 1 marks a dramatic leap in the United States' plan to potentially trigger off an armed confrontation between Colombia and Venezuela.

These events should be of major concern for all supporters of the Venezuelan revolution, and anti-war and peace activists the world over.

Repression in Peru intensifies

By Hugo Blanco

March 4, 2008 -- Not long ago repression in Peru was more a matter of laws than actions. Now, however, APRA's legislation (APRA is President Alan García's party), with basic support from the ultra-rightist Unidad Nacional party, and from the party of Fujimori, who is now being tried for massive crimes, and with no consequent parliamentary opposition, is being used to launch a full assault against the people.

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