Oct 7, 2015 by

By Manuel E. Yepe

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

An agreement intended to ensure justice for the victims of the internal war in Colombia –a conflict that has lasted over half a century– was signed in Havana by the heads of delegations of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) and of the Colombian government to the Peace Talks in the presence of Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, and the leader of the FARC-EP, Timoleon Jimenez, with Cuban President Raul Castro as host of the meeting.

The document was signed by Ivan Marquez and Humberto de la Calle, the respective heads of the delegations of the FARC-EP and the Colombian government, and the representatives of the guarantor countries, Cuba and Norway, and the accompanying countries, Venezuela and Chile.

The approved text, a prelude to the final peace agreement which –as announced– should be signed within six months, constitutes an irreversible milestone on the road to ending the conflict; recognizes the victims as the most important part of the agreement; and establishes mechanisms for meting out justice and ensure that the crimes that were committed during the confrontation are never again repeated.

Timoleon Jimenez called on Colombians to unite in order to achieve lasting peace and to work together to neutralize hatred. For his part, President Santos acknowledged and appreciated the step taken by the insurgency in announcing that “no later than March 23, 2016” peace in Colombia will be signed.

At the ceremony, a joint statement was signed by representatives of the guerrillas and the Colombian government establishing a Special Court of Justice to ensure that war crimes do not go unpunished.

A handshake, described as historic, between Santos and Timoleón Jimenez, in the presence of President Raul Castro, symbolized the feelings of both parties knowing that they were taking a major step towards the final settlement of a conflict that has lasted nearly six decades.

Closing the ceremony, the Cuban president stressed that peace in Colombia is not only possible but also indispensable for the full compliance of the declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a zone of peace, as was proclaimed in the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the first and only organization which brings together all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean without the presence of the United States, Canada or Europe.

It is impossible to fully comprehend this event –a preamble to the end of the long war in Colombia– outside the contradictory context of the resumption of diplomatic relations between Havana and Washington, and the surprisingly peaceful solution of the serious border dispute that erupted between Caracas and Bogota on the one hand, and the continuity of the US and oligarchic counter-offensive against the political and social changes that have occurred in Latin America in recent years, which the reaction calls the “progressive cycle “.

The counter-offensive has been directed primarily against a score of independent governments in the region who defend their sovereignty and are in favor of the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The campaign to reverse the “progressive cycle” began with the US attack against Ecuadorian territory and the reestablisment of the 4th Fleet by Washington (2008); it went on with the coups against Zelaya in Honduras (2009), and Lugo in Paraguay (2012), and the failed riots against Evo Morales in Bolivia (2008), and Correa in Ecuador (2010). It is impossible to overlook the failed coup and oil boycott in Venezuela (2002-2003), and the destabilizing harassment in the last decade against the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador.

Unable to defeat them at the polls, they try to apply models and techniques of the so-called “color revolutions” that the United States has used elsewhere to overthrow regimes it finds ¨ uncomfortable ¨. In Latin America, the US has used them against the governments legitimized by democratic elections headed by Rafael Correa, Dilma Rousseff, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, and Salvador Sanchez Ceren, in Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina and El Salvador, respectively. This has been with the aim of boycotting or delaying their people-oriented policies.

The election of a Roman Catholic pontiff in Rome, who is close to the feelings of the Latin American peoples, has contributed to the current profound and positive changes that the region has undergone since 1999.

The recent visit of Pope Francis to the US was crowned by a biblical quotation made before Congress: “Beware the contemporary temptation to dismiss everything that is bothersome. Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. (Matthew 7, 12) “.

September 26, 2015.


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