What They Said: Sunday 2 September, 2012

On Twitter:

“They abandoned the peace of security and are searching for the peace of
[Hugo] Chávez, [Daniel] Ortega [of Nicaragua] and [Fidel] Castro”.

Uribe, Colombian President during the Plan Colombia years (although the Plan was launched under President Pastrana), has his knickers in a bit of a twist after his successor, Juan Manual Santos, announced the beginning of peace talks with FARC guerrillas in Havana.

Santos was Uribe’s Defense Minister, and was hand-picked by Uribe as his successor on the expectation that he would continue Uribe’s mano dura (“iron fist”) policies – policies that did, it must be admitted, result in a considerably improved security situation in the country and reduced production of coca [sp].

Still, Uribe received criticism for being too tough and possibly breaching human rights and/or democratic values, and Santos has taken a different path, culminating in the third set of peace talks to take place since the FARC initiated armed struggle in 1964 (the two previous attempts were unsuccessful).

The government has promised there will be no pardons or amnesties for terrorists, and that the initiation of talks will not mean the abandonment of internal defense. I’m thinking almost forty years of guerrilla warfare warrant another go at peace. Cuba and Venezuela’s involvement in the process don’t mean an unquestioning acceptance of their internal politics (Norway and Chile are involved as well) – they are neighbours, after all, with a stake in the region’s security.

Uribe is very fond of Twitter-bashing the successor who clearly disappointed him greatly; I’m not sure it’s terribly productive.

A few links:

Edited, Monday 3 September, to add this gem:

“#TerrorismContinues: yesterday two soldiers killed in San Andrés de Cuerquia. To negotiate with terrorists, do the lives of soldiers not matter?


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