Unraveling ideas: War is not as they paint it
State violence will always generate struggle, so it is an essential prerequisite to end it if we want to achieve peace. It's the only way to end the conflict.
To the members of the two forces:
On the occasion of the end of the year, sending a fraternal, warm and revolutionary greeting to all guerrillas, militias, clandestine political organizations and in general the whole insurgent family of the FARC -EP and ELN, the commanders of the two forces want to highlight the immense effort that we have been making and the fact that we have committed ourselves to sustain our mutual political and military aspirations until victory.
Soon the year 2014 begins, in which the ELN and the FARC -EP complete fifty years of unyielding struggle for a socialist, sovereign, democratic nation, founded on social justice and human development. We were born of the same seed, the rebellion and heroic resistance of our people, and we have grown as a giant tree with two trunks, which has remained faithful to the interests of the marginalized, confronting tirelessly the anti-popular economic policies and the savage repression used by the ruling oligarchy in our country to prevent the development of a democratic alternative for the changes necessary for our national liberation.
We firmly believe in the need to recognize ourselves increasingly as part of the same historical and political flow, as brothers and sisters, colleagues and comrades, who aim our weapons and strategies in the same direction. Unity not only is a strategic need, but also a moral, patriotic and popular imperative. And it should be materialized beyond political statements and embraces; it should be manifest in the effective disappearance of prejudices between commanders and fighters of both forces, expressed in continued respect, affection and solidarity, in the unremitting efforts to discuss and agree on views on specific issues of organizational work, in relation to the masses and the civilian population, in dealing with the problems that can be generated by different approaches in financial matters and natural contradictions that may occur in the revolutionary practice of everyday life.
As reality is always novel and rich in possibilities and options, we have to build a mutual ethic of understanding. We should simply assimilate, without any hesitation, that while opposing positions can appear in one or another aspect, our vocation, our talent and revolutionary tact must always find a way to settle them in a positive way, in such way that they lead to the overcoming of difficulties and the relentless approach of our ways of thinking and working. Our contradictions, incorrect treatments and the negative attitudes of some members of our forces, which worsened those contradictions to a great extent, should be buried forever and belong to a remote past, full of experiences.
Manuel Marulanda V?lez and Manuel P?rez Mart?nez are two immortal heroes of the popular and guerrilla struggle in Colombia and Our America. They led the development of our military forces and their political action for many years, with their open and visionary minds. They will always serve as a reference of what it means to spend a lifetime of efforts and sacrifices for the sake of our people, of striking clarity in understanding our steps as part of the relentless class struggle between people and their exploiters. We are also the result of their perseverance and example. We are required to complete their work.
That is why, at the start of another year of our beautiful and heroic struggle, we exalt the memory of all those of us who fell in battle. Remembering and dignifying those who lost their freedom in fulfilling their tasks. To stimulate and encourage those who are injured or sick. All of them, with their blood and energy write the history of a people risen up against injustice. And weave the future of demands and joys.
New tasks , new missions, major challenges lie ahead. The enemies of our people are armed and prepared with dedicated zeal, with the carefully calculated objective to crush us. Without overestimating their power, we must be clear in understanding that only a highly ideological, political and military skilled revolutionary force can successfully assume the historical task of successfully confronting and overcoming them. To a great extent, it has to do with fidelity to our principles, our lifelong effort to study and prepare in all fields, the unwavering conviction to apply discipline and safety measures at all times and circumstances, remembering that we are nothing without the people, without their support and organized work. Therefore we should understand the importance of treating people with the utmost respect and affection and unhesitatingly condemn any behavior that threatens their interests and avoid at all costs imposing things or giving orders to them.
Our great task is, with high dedication, to sow awareness in our people. Contribute to organize, unite and raise them to the level of engaging in struggle. That cannot be done through harshness, but by way of persuasion.
Finally we would like to refer to our efforts to utilize the dialogue to find a political solution to the long armed conflict that has bee taking place in our country. We cannot forget that it is the people, all the exploited and marginalized classes, along with the so-called middle classes, aware enough and united into a powerful political or military effort, who are called upon to wrest power from the ruling oligarchies and start building a more just and humane society and State. All our efforts, as revolutionaries, point in that direction. The anti-democratic and violent character of the Colombian regime has prevented the development of political work, in an attempt to prevent popular mobilization from shaking its foundations. That was the fundamental reason for our call to rise up in arms.
The path of a political solution, then, would open a huge gap in this regime, impelling the popular movement to break down the walls of intolerance, to create conditions that will unleash a powerful alternative movement and make it flourish, to transform Colombia once and for all. The flag of peace with social justice and democracy cannot be understood as the demobilization and disarmament of the guerrilla movement, but as the carrying out of profound reforms in the economic, political, institutional and social fields. That is why the struggle for peace is so important in our country; the State and the ruling classes are the only ones responsible for the violence, backwardness and poverty prevailing in Colombia.
The peace talks, conceived as a grand opening for the guerrillas to expand the spaces to do politics, as they come closer to the population and continue winning the heart of the Colombian people, can become the most powerful factor of popular agitation and organization. The conscious and organized people know what has to be done.
Therefore, the two forces are working to carry out the peace talks to their full extent, which is not easy with a deeply reactionary neoliberal government, committed to the core to the interests of transnational companies and U.S. militaristic, warmongering and oligarchic imperialism. A government that, behind its public discourse of peace, hides its ambition to achieve the surrender of the insurgency, its submission; to permanently remove this obstacle to the hegemony of big business and big landownership. It would be much easier if we could contribute to the installation of another government, of a democratic nature, open to new perspectives. Hence the importance of working simultaneously on that option.
Both of our forces engages their energies separately, working hard with their bases, animated by the desire to accumulate the greatest amount of popular energy possible, inspired by the conviction that the two streams will have to come together sooner rather than later. The mobilization of our people plays a fundamental role in building the New Colombia we dream of, and that is why the greatest possible mass convergence is a vital necessity.
ELN and FARC -EP are committed to increasing our work in this direction, and all the members of the two forces are bound to assume so in each of the large and small tasks imposed to us by the struggle.
Receive all our combative embrace of Christmas and New Year.
NICOL?S RODRIGUEZ BAUTISTA and TIMOLE?N JIM?NEZ
Not one step back ! ...Freedom or Death!
Against imperialism ...For our Fatherland ! Against the oligarchy ...For our people!
Coming up: The discussion on drug-trafficking
The newspaper from Lima "El Comercio", on February 12, 1998, outlined a statement made by the famous US economist Milton Friedman, entitled "Drugs, an unfair war":
"Our drug policy has led to thousands of deaths and enormous loss of wealth in countries like Colombia, Peru and Mexico (...) All because we cannot enforce our laws at home. If we did, there would be no market for imported drugs. (...) The foreign countries would not have to suffer the loss of sovereignty (...) Can any policy be moral if it leads to widespread corruption, imprisons so many, has so racist an effect, destroys our inner cities, wreaks havoc on misguided and vulnerable individuals and brings death and destruction to foreign countries?"
When greeting the Colombian youth present in this scenario, the FARC-People's Army, rather than exalting the sum of qualities that encloses the human soul in this stage of life, would like to highlight the special spiritual situation of the rising generation, characterized by the formation of ethical values ??that will guide your future behavior.
The ability to pervert the truth
The ideological domination, taking possession of millions of people to act in compliance with the interests of the masters, acquires vital importance for the ruling classes at this moment. Showing as true what is not and turn the ones who oppose them into monsters, becomes vital for them in order to perpetuate their profits.
The true peacemakers
The question about who is really tired of the peace process moves towards really important reflections. One of them takes us to the beginning of the talks between the national government and the FARC-EP. Why did the process start in the first place? After eight years of war practiced by Uribe, what made Santos change course?
Who is tired of the peace process?
Around the peace process which is currently taking place in Havana, all sorts of speculations are woven. Starting from President Santos and his leader at the peace talks, Humberto de la Calle, the allegations against the FARC are released and repeated in an irresponsible and biased way by different spokesmen of the Establishment and commentators, who are well-paid by the mainstream media.
On several occasions you said you were interested in an exchange of letters with me. Now, after a discharge, much less friendly than when you valued my style, you return to the fray, and with two constraints, that I should be productive and I shouldn't sow discord.
Some media, surely inspired on sensationalism, have speculated about a supposed threat of mine regarding a violation of the confidentiality agreed on in the General Agreement for the termination of the conflict.
President Santos responded calculating every word when he referred to the offer of cooperation made by President Mujica in New York. In spite of expressing his gratitude for the proposal to use the Uruguayan territory as a possible site for the peace talks, the Colombian president chose not to advance anything on dialogues with the guerrilla of the ELN. In these situations you have to be very cautious. Decisions are made by mutual agreement, he said.