7 mai 2004

Original in english was here : http://www.anncol.org/side/512/hilight/betancourt/
But now here : http://anncol.org/uk/site/doc.php?id=122

En français ici  : http://mai68.org/ag/839.htm

FARC speaks on Betancourt and Hugo Chávez


“Ingrid Betancourt was not the candidate for peace”, says Raúl Reyes, one of the FARC-EP's leading commanders, in an exclusive interview with ANNCOL. He reveals that the FARC sympathizes with the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez : “He is a Venezuelan patriot”. He also opines that the most dangerous terrorism in the world is hunger.

07.05.2004 (ANNCOL) Today ANNCOL publishes an interview recorded by our correspondent in a guerilla controlled zone in Colombia. ANNCOL's correspondent interviewed one of the principal leaders of the insurgent organization FARC-EP ; comandante RaúlReyes, member of the Secretariat of the FARC.

In an exclusive interview Reyes talked of the possible humanitarian prisoner exchange between the guerilla and the government, the situation of former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, and of the President of Venezuela, among other subjects.

ANNCOL : Why was presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt detained ?

REYES : Look, Ingrid was detained because she was a presidential candidate of the Colombian government system. We did not know that she was a French citizen; this was made known only now, after she was detained. Before she was nothing more than a presidential candidate of the system.

Ingrid was no left wing candidate, she was not the candidate of opposition to the neo-liberal model, she was not the candidate of peace. There are people who think she was the candidate of peace, but they are mistaken.

What happens is that after her capture substantial demonstrations are held calling for the government to realize that it is necessary to reach an agreement. These demonstrations in favor of an humanitarian exchange are worthy of support, we think of them as very positive, because this may contribute to an agreement which permits the liberation of all exchangeable people and the liberation of all the men and women of the guerilla who are incarcerated against their will in Colombian prisons.

ANNCOL : What is FARC's proposal for prisoner exchange ?

REYES : For several years now the FARC has maintained a proposal for prisoner exchange, which consists in that the FARC offers to deliver to the Colombian State a number of prisoners in it's power, exchangeable political and military prisoners.

For example, at this moment we have various officers of the Army, some of it's captains, lieutenants, sergeants, colonels and majors of the Army and of Police, and also some political prisoners like the former governor Alan Jara, the former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, and the three American CIA agents. There are 12 Members of Congress from Valle, a former minister of state, and other congressmen, whom the FARC would deliver in an agreement of exchange, subject to the government release of all the men and women guerillas that at the moment are deprived of their liberty.

We would receive them inside Colombia and we would delivers theirs inside Colombia also, dependant upon the government offering guarantees that permit our representatives to sit down and talk with the representatives of the government, and sign this agreement. Up till today the government has not named any representatives, because the Colombian Government has no interest in a prisoner exchange, they show no interest in the liberation of their people.

ANNCOL : What is the relation between the FARC and the Government of Venezuela ?

REYES : The FARC has sympathy for the government of President HugoChávez, because it is a Bolivarian government that is developing a Bolivarian process. We hope that it will bring beneficial results to all the Venezuelan people, so that a country at peace, with social justice, may be constructed in Venezuela, capable of confronting the violent assault of the Venezuelan oligarchy, who are determined to remove Hugo Chávez form the presidency of Venezuela, a man who is a Venezuelan patriot, a true inheritor of the Bolivarian spirit who is a determined defender of the interests of his people.

So we wish for Venezuela, for her President and for all Bolivarians, success in this struggle for liberty, in this emancipatory struggle of brotherhood and of continuity with the work of our liberator, Simón Bolívar.

ANNCOL : What is your opinion of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, FTAA (Also known, by it's Spanish acronym, ALCA (ed) ?

REYES :On learning the contents of ALCA one realizes that it's policies makes the lives of the Colombians, and of all the countries who join ALCA, much more calamitous. What is being sought by this is the recolonization of our countries, turning Colombia into a colony of the United States and of it's policies. That is to say, Colombia would become an annex of the United States of America, with no rights, only complete dependency.

To this the anti-patriot Uribe Vélez has pledged himself Wholeheartedly, to deliver Colombia into the arms of the gringos, into the arms of the global economic centers. The FARC opposes this pretension, which on top of it all violates our sovereignty and our territorial integrity, with all its force

ANNCOL : Lately their have been large popular demonstrations in Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina. What does the FARC think of this ?

REYES : The FARC has an international policy of respect for all the peoples of the world. Respect above all for the peoples, for authorities that these people name, for their free self-determination, respect for their culture, traditions and policies.

But what we see that the people of Bolivia and of other parts of the world are doing, is that they are fighting against the devastating, exclusionary and impoverishing effects which the neo-liberal model has generated, and which are generated by globalization, this imperial war against the peoples of the world, conducted through the International Monetary Fond, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

The thing is, there are billions of human beings of the so-called Third World who have not been able to eat breakfast this morning, and won't eat breakfast tomorrow either. So the real terrorism, conducted by the economic power groups of the world, expresses itself in constant death of men, women and children, caused by hunger. This is the most dangerous terrorism in the world, the people dying of hunger so that a few can appropriate great riches.

ANNCOLL : http://anncol.org

FARC : http://www.farc-ep.ch

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