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Want to talk to the FARC? Call Hugo Chavez

By Aleksander Boyd

London 18.09.07 | Over the years readers of this site have been made aware of the cozy relationship that exists between Colombia's narco-terrorist group FARC and dictator Hugo Chavez. Public and notoriously irrational reactions of the Venezuelan caudillo, on the occasion of the capture in Caracas of one of FARC's highest officials Rodrigo Granda in late 2004 while attending a Bolivarian event, left no doubt about it. In fact, at time of capture, Granda had been living in Venezuela for two years where he enjoyed a somewhat diplomatic status. He even had Venezuelan citizenship. Now, in his last grand standing gesture, Chavez is meant to act as a "peace maker" in the conflict between the Colombian State and the terrorist group.

It can not be denied that there's a shortage of "negotiators" at the time of dealing with criminal organizations and Chavez, in the absence of his Cuban mentor and the rather cautious public behavior of Lula, is about the only one left. However Chavez's newly acquired go-to-guy status reeks of deceit, for someone who has made violence and hatemongering as the most salient characteristics of his career can not be trusted with having peace as the ideal goal. The release of a group of hostages will center talks, to be had in Caracas on 8 October according to the BBC. French President Nico Sarkozy is meant to be très heureuse with the prospect of Chavez broking an agreement with the FARC, fortunately commonsensical views vis-a-vis this affair can still be found among frenchies. The issue reminds me of the recent peace process fiasco regarding Spain's terrorist group ETA, whereby socialist premier Zapatero had the bright idea of calling upon Fidel Castro and his minions to pact with the Basques. One can only imagine the jokes between Cuban party apparatchiks and Rodrigo Granda, now residing in the prison island.

Not all is lost though for there's no doubt now about the trusting relationship that Chavez has got with the FARC. Where was it again that negotiations could be had, Cuba and Venezuela?

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