The Guardian May 17, 2000


Colombia: The nation is threatened

The following is a Political Declaration by the Plenum of the Central 
General Staff, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-
EP) on the situation in Colombia.

Using the pretext of the crusade against the narcotics traffic, the 
Government of the US is widening its intervention in the internal affairs 
of Colombia and preparing conditions for an invasion.

As part of its counter insurgency strategy, and with the approval of the 
domestic political class, it is trying to implement the so-called Plan 
Colombia in order to develop without restriction its imperialist neo-
liberal policies that will sink our people even further into misery, 
condemning it to a future of more indignity, violence and social injustice.

They are not satisfied with the terrorism the Colombian state has imposed 
as the means of governing the country, a determining cause of the national 
crisis.

Nor with the massacres carried out by the paramilitary death squads, which 
leave our countryside in mourning every day and which have caused the 
displacement of two million compatriots in the last few years.

These are practices taught and promoted by the Yankees themselves in their 
specialised courses for business men, politicians and military commanders 
of our suffering country.

In Colombia, there is no real, legal opposition to the system because the 
official dirty war eliminated it with bullets.

This reality confirmed the armed revolutionary path as the only possible 
alternative in the struggle for the power exercised by the oligarchy, 
through which it has imposed its neo-liberal policies in the service of big 
capital and the transnational corporations, to the detriment of the 
country.

The most productive state enterprises, which were built by the collective 
effort and wealth of all Colombians, continue to be privatised.

Sectors and branches strategic to our development, such as energy, 
transportation, finance, iron and steel, communications, public health and 
education are being handed to private capital.

This has caused tremendous levels of unemployment and the loss of our 
national independence and sovereignty as well.

In spite of the growth of imperialist interference in the internal life of 
our country, of the military, paramilitary, political, economic and social 
violence that the state exercises in every way against the popular sectors 
and of the profound corruption of the ruling class, the FARC-People's Army 
persists in the pursuit of political solutions to the Colombian crisis.

As evidence of the broad perspectives we are looking toward, we have 
decided to reinforce our delegation at the talks (in San Vicente del Caguan 
which we initiated) with the government to make that of the FARC-EP equal 
in number to that of the government.

We are certain the country will understand our interest in deepening the 
process, in tying the talks closer to the concrete problems being 
experienced by the various sectors of the nation, and that among us all, we 
will be able to progressively raise the quality of the Dialogue Table, 
elevating its part in the civilised transformation we require.

[In April we launched] the Bolivarian Movement for the New Colombia as an 
organisation which under the leadership of the FARC-EP will unite all those 
who are looking for an end to state terrorism, injustices, inequalities, 
unemployment and humiliation in the face of imperialism, by way of 
political action while from the trenches the clandestine forces would 
protect them from paramilitary barbarity.

In order that Colombians can express their preferences at the local level, 
we shall not interfere in the October elections of mayors and municipal 
councils.

We shall work for it to be popular assemblies that choose the civic 
candidates and programs to be executed and that the communities be the ones 
who oversee the administrative initiatives that will prevent quarrels and 
corruption, a situation in which the population itself rejects the 
electoral activity of the usual corrupt politicians, in each locality of 
Colombia.

We call upon the Yankee government to quit interfering in the internal 
affairs of our country, to cancel its criminal and warmongering Plan 
Colombia which will only increase the conflict, transforming it into a 
war of national liberation.

If it is really interested in eliminating the narcotics traffic as the 
cancer it is for all humanity, we exhort it to legalisethe 
consumption of narcotics and thus cut out this shame of contemporary 
society from its roots.

We call upon you to take up the initiative that the external debt of our 
country be cancelled and that we be given a period of 20 years to utilise 
these resources for the reconstruction of our battered society.

Let it not attempt to exercise in Colombia the role it has played as 
policeman of the world, because the whole nation will rise up to defend its 
dignity.

We call upon all the Colombians to strengthen their struggles for 
democracy, sovereignty, social justice and the political resolution of the 
conflict from which we are suffering, since it is only the pressure of the 
majorities in the streets and hamlets of the whole country that will make 
possible the construction of the New Colombia we long for.

"With Bolivar, for Peace and National Sovereignty"

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