Archive for January 17th, 2008

Venezuelan Government lies and applies a cynical double standard to the FARC hostages

January 17, 2008

A few days ago Hugo Chavez, under attack for not doing anything about the Venezuelan hostages in the hands of the FARC and the ELN in Venezuela, dared to say with a straight face that there were no Venezuelans in the hands of these two terrorist groups, which he now wants us to convince us are such good and humanitarian people.

But Hugo Chavez has accustomed us Venezuelans to his lies and cynical statements, except that now he is directing them to international opinion as he tries to attack the Colombian Government. But as a friend kindly reminded me yesterday, it was Hugo Chavez who said at the Cartagena summit:

“I am a man of honor and if I were to support the guerrilla I assure you that I would not hide it. I don’t support nor have I ever supported, nor will I ever support the Colombian guerrilla. No way”. So spoke President Hugo Chavez on November 9 th, 2004 during a press conference in Cartagena.

Lies come indeed easily to the Venezuelan President who can keep a straight face in saying the above and now three years later do exactly what he claimed he would never do. But the truth is that he has always been a sympathizer of the FARC from the early days, he just hides it. The same way in which he was a sympathizer of terrorist Carlos the Jackal as clearly expressed in his letter to that terrorist  in 1999 and he sympathized with the September 11th. attacks until he realized his suggestion that the US had it coming to them did not play well anywhere else.

And it is not surprising that Chavez now named as Minister of the Interior the same man that told the guerrillas a message from Chavez that basically said: Hang in there, you can count on us.

But those kidnapped in Venezuela have families and the families did not take well to Chavez’s statements and they have been holding meetings with the press and since Chavez apparently does not care about the Venezuelan hostages, they appealed to the Colombian Government for help. Above is a partial list of some of those kidnapped, as well as the guerrilla/mercantile/terrorist group taking responsibility for it or asking for the ransom. This is a very short list of 44 names, but only in 2007 a total of 279 Venezuelans were kidnapped.

And to show the type of cynical double standard the Government has and the disdain for the suffering of its own citizens, Minister Rodriguez Chacin, the same one that tells the FARC guerrillas to hang in there and count with the support of Chavez and his Government at the moment in which the two Colombian hostages were being handed over, suggests today that the relatives of those kidnapped “may be incurring in treason” when they ask help from the Colombian Government, because nobody knows what the political objective of the kidnappers may be.

A strange statement from a man that just participated in the inverse operation of rescuing Colombian hostages in the hands of a terrorist group whose only objective is the overthrow of the Colombian Government no? Thus, Chavez was and is promoting treason on the part of Colombians when he seeks to help them and the two women released and their relatives have incurred in the same crime.

That is the logic or lack of it that Venezuelans have seen in nine years of lies, deceit and yes, treason to Venezuela on the part of Hugo Chavez and his cronies. Treason when Chavez gives money without authorization to anybody he wants to buy. Treason when he violates the Constitution and signs international agreements to give oil away to Cuba and other countries. Treason when suitcases full of cash leave Venezuela while Venezuelans go hungry or get killed by common criminals or by illnesses that were erradicated or under control in Venezuela before Chavez was elected President.

To say nothing of the fact that lying about PDVSA’s production is treason. Or the destruction of PDVSA, or the country’s industrial base, or the way US$ 300 billion in oil income has been mismanaged.

I could go on and on, but five years of writing here tell you the whole story. We know who the traitors and liars are.

And is not us.

When organized terrorist crime gives receipts for protection: Priceless!!!

January 17, 2008

—Flying in PDVSA jet to Villavicencio to wait for the realese of the hostages zero $

—Spending a night in Villavicencio to await the release $100

—Getting a receipt from the FARC so you can prove you have protection: Priceless!!!

(taken from today’s El Nacional, note it says annual fee, next payment in 2006)

The Great Farc(e) by Teodoro Petkoff

January 17, 2008

Petkoff in today’s Tal Cual Editorial used a very similar play on words that I did two nights ago in trying to show how Chavez (Chacumbele) is either trying to play innocent or does it in bad faith in his silly defense of teh FARC and why it should be recognized as a belligerent force:

The Great Farc(e) by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

What we could call the “Chacumbele Doctrine” about the Colombian conflict is either innocent or it is ignorant or it is bad faith or it is the three things at once.

The crux of the thesis of the Great Strategists is that if you recognize the FARC as a “belligerent force, they would immediately enter the Geneva Protocol (a convention that establishes certain rules in war to “humanize” them) and they could not use kidnapping (Chacumbele dixit). Just BS. The serene little angels from the FARC do not need to be protected by the Geneva Protocol to stop kidnapping civilians.

They know what they are doing. They know perfectly well that the kidnapping of innocent civilians, divorced from the armed fight, is a monstrous practice, abominable, that denies in itself any noble purpose that could motivate those that take up arms with a political purpose and that denies the rules of war.

They kidnap with a full conscience that they are doing it because this is a financing mechanism and not because the known the “rules of war” that came out of the Geneva Convention. Our Clausewitz is wrong when he points out that the kidnappings (which he claims to reject) are part of a policy, different from that of the common criminal, because these are political kidnappings, not to kill them or torture the but for humanitarian exchanges (Chacumbele redixit). For God’s sake, how can he lie like that! Not long ago the FARC assassinated 11 members of Parliament they had in their hands.

 But the main thing is that 99% of those kidnapped by the FARC are non-political citizens, kidnapped to demand (and obtain) a monetary ransom. Bt even if the few political kidnappings had been taken to advance a humanitarian exchange, it is not possible to justify it. The jailed guerrilla members are uniformed combatants captured in combat. The ladies recently freed are civilians removed from the conflict.

To use them as an object of exchange does nothing but accentuate the monstrosity of the FARC’s procedure. The fight that claims to be revolutionary is in the end, a fight for the soul of the collective. Even with weapons in the hands, a revolutionary organization needs to again supporters not lose them. The means that it uses cannot deny the ends that it claims to pursue. To use monstrous procedures, such as kidnapping and drug trafficking, without mentioning the massacres of peasants, alienate sympathies. It is no coincidence that all of Colombia, from the rich to the poor, rejects the FARC, as demonstrated by numerous polls. Since the FARC devoted themselves to drug trafficking and kidnappings they lost all respectability and all credibility.

If kidnapping takes part of the outlaw panoply it is because it happens to be a fully conscious decision f its bosses and it is stupid to think that the Geneva Protocol would stop them from continuing with it. To stop the kidnappings the only thing the FARC needs, is to recuperate its political meaning. If they did it a small path could be opened towards peace in Colombia.