Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bill Richardson Endorses Obama, and CNN Doesn't Get It

Watched two whole news segments on Governor Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama's candidacy. Not once, was it mentioned that he is a major Latino leader, whose endorsement will carry enormous weight. The commentator panel included veteran polls like David Gergen.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bolivia, Colombia: FARC Laptop: Evo, Ortega to Meet Marulanda at Summit

The laptops which allegedly were captured from the FARC camp are an interesting read. Colombian publication Semana has some n Interesting highlights. In general, it is a lot of back and forth correspondence among top levels of the FARC hierarchy, as would be expected from a member of the directorate charged with foreign affairs.
There is also quite a bit of chatter - almost obsessive - on their business dealings. They try to figure out how best to use money from Chavez - the $300 million the press talks about. In my opinion it could be Chavez granting them a contract to commercialize the $300 million worth of oil, from which they would get a huge commission, and could launder it through front corporations. Only in Colombia would Marxist-leninists have this kind of business savvy. The Uranium, sounds like a proposal one of their "contacts" made. When you have this kind of cash, people will try to sell you anything
Then you get to the heart of the matter of the matter. There is a lot of internal strategizing and debate between FARC commanders about how to effectively use their bargaining position with the hostages, to get international recognition as combatants, the "despeje" or "cleared zone" to further peace negotiations. And throughout its clear that they see Chavez as a key partner, even flattering his vanity. But definitively someone who can help them in undermining Uribe internationally, by upstaging him in these hostage dealings - and consequently strengthening the FARC's position internally.

Evo, Ortega and Correa are described as being close to Chavez: the FARC commander emailing Marulanda/Tirofijo describes them as "patria o muerte" with Chavez "fatherland or death" literally.
Marulanda, the ancient and enigmatic leader of the FARC, who has been in the bush most of his adult life, will apparently have a meeting with Chavez. The Venezuelan will be accompanied by Evo, Daniel Ortega and Correa, in what is described as a "summit of commanders".
Here is a quote from that communication.

Octubre, 4 de 2007
Camarada Manuel. Cordial saludo. Del diálogo con Chacín, lo siguiente:

1- Se proseguirá el esfuerzo por hacer realidad la cumbre de comandantes en el Yarí. De lograrse, Chávez iría acompañado por los presidentes Ortega, Evo y Correa, que son “patria o muerte” con Chávez. De todas maneras habrá una reunión privada Chávez-Marulanda. "

No doubt many discussions of Boliviarian projects, complaints about the empire and comparing notes on coca production.

-As an aside, I was struck by the ideological common ground between Evo, Garcia-Linera, the MAS leadership and the FARC. Their worldview, an extremely paranoid and rigid view of the empire, and its domestic "oligarchic" partners. The delusions they somehow have a "valid revolutionary alternative" - nothing more than the same old Marxist-Leninist cliches, with some twists.

Another letter, describes the topics that will be brought up by these characters. The negotiations with the Colombian government, and a "common geo-political strategy".

3- Ya estoy enterando a Ricardo y a Marcos de todos los pormenores. Los dos camaradas serán recibidos públicamente por Chávez antes de su reunión del 12 con Uribe en la frontera de la Guajira. Esperamos nuevas directrices del camarada Manuel. Por ahora les he explicado que su misión es reiterar a nombre del Secretariado lan exigencia de despeje de Pradera y Florida. Agradecer a Chávez su invaluable labor de intermediación. Que la cumbre Chávez-Marulanda en el Yarí con el acompañamiento de los presidentes Ortega, Morales y Correa, será decisiva en la búsqueda de fórmulas para el acuerdo y para la estrategia geopolítica común. Plantear que estamos analizando sus propuestas de fecha para la reunión secreta con el Secretariado. Convocar a los gobiernos del mundo, personalidades y organizaciones políticas y sociales a rodear la intermediación del Presidente Chávez.

The FARC clearly sees Evo and Ortega as part of this "Boliviarian" anti-US block, that wants to weaken Colombia's government, decrease US influence, and build up Chavez. The FARC want legitimacy as combatants, the clearing of a "demilitarized zone" within Colombia while negotiations for their release and an eventual peace plan take place. They want to discredit and hurt Uribe as much as possible in the meantime. Externally, that means giving Chavez - and partners Evo, Ortega, Correa - leverage by showing they can be effective intermediaries with the FARC by releasing hostages. Evo and Correa can also contact influential countries on behalf of these "efforts", without carrying the Chavez stigma (in theory).

In some ways this is nothing more than the FARC giving a percentage of its future earnings to partners like Chavez - and Evo to a lesser degree. Those earnings, are of course, the ransom for the hundreds they kidnapped and hold hostage for years. This is an ugly situation.
Judge for yourself, the 36 page PDF made available by Colombia.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Tirofijo's son in law gets his, a kilometer inside Ecuador.

Around 8 years ago, Raul Reyes was constantly on Colombian and International TV during the failed negotiations between FARC and the Colombian government, and was the public face of the FARC. Was a ruthless hardline communist trained in East Germany. As commander of the "Bloque Sur" he ordered thousands of kidnapings, hundreds of extra-judicial executions.

He was up to his neck in responsibility for the crimes of FARC, not only from the command side, but because he handled the groups finances>.
And he was also the pervert who kidnapped 9 year girls to become part of his harem.
Chavez comments & actions are inflamatory, revealing, and crazy:

i. A minute of silence for Reyes
ii. Admitted he met 3 times with Reyes, even before president.
iii. Said it was "tribute" to "Raul Reyes a real revolutionary"
iv. says the killing was "not in combat", a "cowardly murder" "coldly planned"
v. Called Colombia a "terrorist state", says Uribe is the "criminal", a "liar" a "terrorist",

Correa meanwhile is the real "aggrieved party" since Ecuadorian sovereignity was violated. But information found on Reyes laptop allegedly shows that Reyes was meeting with Ecuadors government. Correa was negotiating with FARC to recognize them as combatants in order to get involved in hostage negotiations, to probably gain some leverage over Colombia. Apparently Correa was willing to pull more anti-FARC elements in police and military from border. Ecuador's president could come across really, really bad. In the process justifying Uribe not notifiying him.

Tip Of The Hat to