The father of the Chicago School categorically claimed that the government of his country should legalize drug consumption and unilaterally stop the war against them.He bitterly remembered that because of the war, the United States had increased eightfold the number of its prison population, mostly black and Latino population of very low income.
Such positions have been declared over and over again by respectable figures, lacking the slightest hint of suspicion. We need only recall that in 1979, Alberto Lleras Camargo, twice president of Colombia, renowned journalist and first Secretary General of the OAS, told the newspaper El Tiempo of Bogota, that it had been the U.S. government's repressive policies, the police, coastal and secret service's persecution, which had risen the price of drugs to such a value. This encouraged the creation of gangs willing to get them anywhere in the world, to bring them to the United States and to make their major dealings there.
The liberal patriarch did not hesitate to warn how our country was going to become the scapegoat for something that was the responsibility of the gringo government alone: "The war and the drugs will stain the reputation of our compatriots in the future", he prophesied, and rightly so.
The two decades that have passed since Lleras Camargo's statements, when Colombia barely had attained the world-wide status of Cannabis exporter, to those of Milton Friedman, as well as the fifteen years that have gone by since then, allow us to analyze several aspects regarding this issue, which will soon be the subject of discussion at the peace talks in Havana.
The analyses of various scholars of the world capitalist economy are in basic agreement, in the sense that the thirty glorious years of promotion and expansion of industrial production after the end of World War II, which brought about the most amazing economic growth in history, came to an end in the early 1970s. Supervening stagnation, produced by the evidence of an imminent crisis of overproduction, forced the big capitalists to curb their investment in the material economy, leading to a steady decline in the rate of profit.
It was necessary to find other areas of investment. The oil crisis at that time and the subsequent fabulous wealth for the Arab world opened the floodgates to financial speculation. The international credit, the stock exchanges and the infinity of speculative business derived from them, were responsible for encouraging and legitimizing the most diverse forms of generation of capital and profit. The drug trade then acquired unusual importance as a source of wealth and investments.
The dispute over the fate of those investments ended in the declaration of the war on drugs by the U.S. government. It was actually about the control of the billions of dollars from the payment for the doses of illegal drugs consumed by its citizens, a substantial amount of capital that flew abroad in the hands of foreigners.
Besides the moral pretext they managed for that crusade, that children and youth had to be saved from such a disastrous scourge, such a campaign could serve immediate political interests. One of these was to justify failing to compensate Vietnam for the death of four million Vietnamese at the hands of U.S. invading troops, with the puerile argument that Indochinese prostitutes, trained by Communists, had started to supply drugs to North-American soldiers. The idea was to equate the damage done by drugs with the damage caused by the horrific massacre of the Vietnamese people, thus ridding the United States of obligation to pay such compensation.
And the drugs were to become a powerful instrument of social control within their own borders. Rebellious populations such as the hateful blacks and immigrants could be repressed and imprisoned massively. And above all, ensure an effective instrument of direct interference in the third world countries, especially in their backyard, where the social and political struggles threatened with taking it out of the politically correct orbit.
All stories and chronicles about any area of ??crops used for the production of drugs, suspiciously read about the fact that the first ones who appeared promoting and teaching the cultivation of the crop, were generous gringos. After that, full control over the local police forces was achieved, and finally, with the same excuse of the heroic and righteous struggle against drugs, the direction and control of the military forces of the countries involved. Colombia is a very outstanding example of the development of this strategy of domination.
When the Soviet Union disappeared, the specter of communism which was their excuse for persecution against all forms of social and political discontent, in development of American national security doctrine, the hegemonic power of transnational capital represented by the United States and NATO suddenly didn't have an excuse anymore that could justify their acts of international intervention and piracy. They had to create an enemy to justify the huge military gadgetry and interventionist policies.
So then new ghosts appeared: terrorism, drug trafficking, human rights violations, the threat of weapons of mass destruction, attacks on the environment, etc., A long list characterized by hypocrisy and manipulation, which could well be applied first to the imperial power, the first State among all that has used nuclear weapons and conventional weapons of all sorts, en masse, against whole nations and peoples, which has plundered the planet in its hunt for profits, which has promoted bloody coups, supported dictatorships and puppet governments that implemented the methods of torture, dirty war and paramilitarism, taught in their schools of military and police training.
For the present case, drug-trafficking was ideal. While many of the rebel groups and movements in Latin America yielded to the enormous weight of the debacle of real socialism, even in Colombia, where much of the insurgency herded their flags to the siren song of financial globalization and the end of history, other groups, truly revolutionary and committed to their people, as the FARC and the ELN, persisted in their political and military projects.
From then on, we would not be treated as tokens of international communism, but as drug gangs, terrorists and so on. There have even been attempts to link the FARC with the international business of uranium and other minerals for the production of nuclear weapons. The so-called psychological operations, so widespread and practiced at the time by the CIA, now true black propaganda tools in the hands of military and police forces conducted directly by the Pentagon, are responsible for sowing in the minds of national and world population the dirtiest representations of the revolutionary organizations.
Among which our ties to drug trafficking are highlighted. A country like Colombia, mountainous with large areas of jungle, whose remote regions were occupied by peasants and settlers, forced to move there by successive waves of landowner's violence and, moreover, abandoned to their fate by the State, was ideal for growing prohibited crops. These peasants found a way to survive and to fairly raise their miserable living conditions. The guerrilla movement, which had been confronting the regime for decades and which was settled mainly in rural areas, did not have the right nor the vocation of turning against the people in order to prohibit the only activity on which their Pyrrhic subsistence depended.
The primary responsibility for the drug problem lies in the very essence of the capitalist economy, the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. government to enforce prohibition laws, and even in the absurdity of these. The ones who study these issues say that alcohol or junk food kill more people than drugs. And that the violence generated by drug trafficking is the product of mafia and illegal activity derived from the prohibition of consumption. And that the war on drugs generates more violence, corruption and social and State's decay than the addictive degeneration.
So when we start in Havana with the issue of illicit drugs, the FARC-EP agree with the desire expressed by the peasant communities affected by the war that the Colombian oligarchy, as always, kneeling before the empire, decided to declare against them. Although President Juan Manuel Santos mumbles in some scenarios the need to apply a different policy in combating this problem, in practice he has assumed the faithful interpretation of the war guidelines issued by the government of the United States.
Instead, the FARC remain firm in the issues raised in our Eighth National Conference, which in 1993 included in our political platform:
"10.The solution of the matter of production, marketing and consumption of narcotics and hallucinogens, understood primarily as a serious social problem that cannot be treated by military means, requires agreements with the participation of national and international community and the commitment of the great powers as the main sources of global demand for drugs".
The government and people of Colombia, as well as the international community, can be sure that the discussion on the problem of illicit drugs at the peace talks, on everything that is related to illegal crop substitution programs, development plans, implementation and evaluation with community involvement and environmental recovery of the affected areas, including prevention and public health programs, which could contemplate its legalization, will be developed with our unwavering and strong determination to contribute in the best way to end the eternal injustice suffered by the rural communities of the country, one of the historical reasons of the five decades of our continuous struggle.
We understand that once the peasant communities are met in their basic aspirations as a product of the agreements reached in Havana and in the various places of dialog that are taking place in the country, the problem of illicit crops will disappear forever from Colombia. Our satisfaction about a Colombia without coke will be enormous. Much more, if it leads to a Colombia without rural poverty and misery, which can make use of their political rights without any threats and violence.
Thus, drug production and marketing will disappear from the country, objectively, as an immediate and direct consequence; however, they won't disappear from the capitalist economy they come from. Other scenarios and struggles will have to deal with the final eradication of the global problem. In what is within our reach, and the reach of our people, we must actively collaborate. The political and strategic use of the drug war by the U.S. empire, would surely seek to move the conflict to neighboring countries, whose democratic political regimes they are interested to fight against. This consideration and final warning should be part of peaceful settlement we'll reach in Colombia.
The political solution of the serious conflict, which has been affecting the country for over five decades, includes the recovery of our national sovereignty, our freedom to make analyses and take decisions as an independent nation. The geopolitical interests of the U.S. government, promoters of the perfidious attempt to sully our revolutionary reputation with criminal stigmas, which are so pleasing to the Colombian ruling class and its repressive apparatus will have to be cast aside and discarded because they are infamous. We can discuss and debate our ideological, political, organizational and military condition as much as you want, but never expect our willingness to accept the low accusations and indictments the Establishment is planning to make.
The FARC-EP will not be the scapegoats for the crimes against humanity committed by the empire and the oligarchy. It's time they started to answer for their deeds. History demands it.
Colombian jungle, November 2013.