Good message, unusual messenger Colombia’s political opposition opposes the FARC too
Jul 182008
  • All those international diplomats who worked to facilitate a humanitarian exchange or a peace agreement in Colombia? “Generally speaking, they had always been a nuisance,” President Uribe’s ever-quotable top advisor, José Obdulio Gaviria, told the Associated Press. (The Colombian government has once again “de-authorized” the role of outside mediators.)
  • In what looks like a novel use of Microsoft Word’s “mail merge” feature, U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William Brownfield has authored a cookie-cutter pro-FTA op-ed apparently tailored to every state in the union. Compare the versions for Alabama, Indiana and Minnesota.
  • By a 414-10 vote, the House of Representatives passed a resolution praising “intelligence and other cooperation by the United States” to Colombia.
  • The U.S. Navy’s 4th Fleet, a new component of Southern Command responsible for operations in the Western Hemisphere, was officially reestablished on July 12th. Curiously, the press release notes that “Fourth Fleet’s reestablishment will not involve an increase in forces assigned in Mayport, or result in any permanently assigned ships or aircraft.”
  • Nicaragua’s La Prensa newspaper seems to think that a delegation from the FARC Secretariat, possibly including Alfonso Cano himself, will actually be in Managua tomorrow to help Daniel Ortega celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution. (Don’t count on it.)
  • El Tiempo ran an interesting description of how coca-growers in Cumaribo, Vichada save their plants after the U.S.-funded fumigation planes spray them.

    After the aircraft discharge their glyphosate over the coca plantations, the growers act within a few minutes to save their plants from the chemical.

    In Cumaribo, the coca-leaf producers use the word “soquear” [probably from "soak"] to describe the tricks they use to save the plants that are fumigated.

    The campesinos’ trickery has shown them that once the planes spray the plantation, there are less than 18 hours in which to avoid having the chemical reach the root and kill the plant.

    That is why they choose to cut the leaves and stem at about 10 centimeters [4 inches] above ground level. Later, they apply molasses and large quantities of fertilizer to the stump to stimulate and strengthen regrowth.

  • Bloomberg’s Joshua Goodman reports in depth on the Brazil-Colombia defense accord likely to be signed when Lula travels to Colombia this weekend. Lula, Álvaro Uribe and Peru’s Alan García will meet in Leticia, Colombia’s Amazon River port bordering Brazil and Peru, on Sunday, which is Colombia’s Independence Day.
  • All week the Los Angeles Times website has run an interesting exchange between the New America Foundation’s Andrés Martínez and Angelo Rivero Santos of the Venezuelan embassy.
  • Most of the testimonies at yesterday’s House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Venezuela were quite thoughtful.
  • The State Department will send a high-level delegation to Bolivia next week to deal with what the U.S. ambassador calls “serious problems” in the bilateral relationship.
  • Costa Rica’s security minister complained that his country’s portion of the “Mérida Initiative” aid package (US$4.2 million) is “not enough.”
  • Another Government Accountability Office report questions the awarding of contracts for U.S. government broadcasts to Cuba.
  • 15 years ago, Emmanuel Constant was perhaps the most feared person in Haiti, master of the brutal FRAPH death squad. Today, he is on trial in Brooklyn for mortgage fraud. That he was free on U.S. soil to begin with is one of the greatest, but least noticed, scandals in recent U.S.-Latin American relations.
  • Colombia’s Special Forces extended to four years their winning streak in the U.S. Southern Command-hosted “Fuerzas Comando” tournament of Latin American Special Forces skills. Uruguay was second and Panama third at the event at Camp Bullis, Texas.

32 Responses to “Friday links”

  1. William Smith Says:

    Why wouldn’t a FARC delegation appear in Nicaragua? It would be a good thing for the world to see the new commander, no? Let’s hope the rumors are true and we get a glimpse of Cano this weekend!

  2. Chris Says:

    William Smith,

    Perhaps because he’s a wanted terrorist…

  3. William Smith Says:

    But the Nicaraguan government doesn’t consider them terrorists. The difficulty of course would be getting out of Colombia and getting back in; the government might not even be averse to shooting down the plane or certainly ambushing it the minute it landed.

    But it would be an incredible and much needed PR boost if the FARC could pull it off.

  4. jcg Says:

    William Smith: I think it wouldn’t go that far, or mostly for those receptive to FARC PR boosts, and that flight may not necessarily originate in Colombia (depends on who is on it…it’s not like FARC doesn’t have personnel outside of Colombia, for one reason or another).

  5. William Smith Says:

    JCG: You’re right, they could always send somebody from outside Colombia. But the article in the Nicaraguan paper specifically mentions sending Cano himself; and that possibility was sort of what I was responding to.

    I guess we’ll see tomorrow whether anyone from the FARC shows up in Managua.

  6. Randy Paul Says:

    Glad to see Toto Constant’s crimes getting more attention. One thing that never gets mentioned is the fact that the FRAPH, under his orders, sought to block the US ships operating under a UN mandate to dock in Port-au-Prince.

    The reason given for Constant’s continued presence in the US was because of “instability in Haiti.” That was a patently absurd statement given the hundreds of Haitian refugees summarily refouled back to Haiti without even getting a chance to press their claims for asylum.

    Constant had clear and distinct ties to the CIA. He was on their payroll. That and only that is why he was allowed to stay.

  7. Camilla Says:

    Here’s a list of how the congress members in the 414-10 vote voted. Notice that Delahunt couldn’t bring himself to praise the Colombian military. Kucinich and other freaks voted no. I don’t see Pelosi’s name anywhere on this, I don’t know why she’s not there at all. If I had to guess, I’d say she wouldn’t want to say anything nice about Colombia either, no matter how many hostages it frees, she certainly didn’t in her official statement, a model of crummy ingratitude and cowardice toward the Colombian government.

    http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2008/roll499.xml

  8. Camilla Says:

    Josh Goodman did some good reporting on that Brazil-Colombia-Peru summit for Bloomberg.

    Can you IMAGINE what Hugo must be feeling right now, seeing that happen? Here Brazil, the Big Dog of Latin militaries and not at all incompetent, is pairing up with Colombia, the stellar model of excellence and competence of Latin American militaries. They nearly cover him borderwise, and they didn’t include him. Meanwhile, the US navy skims the northern border of Venezuela, so Hugo and all the drug-running he’s allowing over Vz territory must feel a little surrounded by giants who think he’s a problem.

    But it must challenge his manhood, too. Here he thinks he’s the conquering military hero of the Andes, the Simon Bolivar reborn, the successor to Fidel Castro trying to keep alive the guerrillas in the mountains legend, the godfather of FARC, the man who openly has defended them not too long ago – and now all these whale shark nations with real military power are circling him, watching him, ready to pounce any minute in his mind. I hope it drives him mad.

  9. Paul Says:

    Camilla,

    Heh, prepare to be savaged by the Chavistas who frequent this blog.

  10. Paul Says:

    Camilla,

    Regarding Pelosi, you may enjoy this: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=405×4952#4954

    Notice her fine choice of Chavista red.

  11. Randy Paul Says:

    Yes clearly, all people who wear red are Chavistas.

    My feeling is that where possible, Latin America should try to demilitarize and spend more money on developing infrastructure and education.

  12. MZR Says:

    Camilla – “I don’t see Pelosi’s name anywhere on this, I don’t know why she’s not there at all. If I had to guess, I’d say she wouldn’t want to say anything nice about Colombia either, no matter how many hostages it frees”.

    Camilla, maybe Pelosi can also comment on the 132 extrajudicial executions allegedly commit by the Colombian military in 2007, as reported on this very website? Quite a number, eh? 132? In a single year? But, the military frees some hostages (whose blood is no doubt worth more to you than the blood of Colombia´s campesinos) so all is well! All hail the Colombian military and its government?

    I really don´t want to engage in another discussion regarding just how spurious the evidence is to support the claims that Chavez has materially helped the FARC. People like Camilla no doubt read headlines like “Interpol says FARC computers not tampered with” and then equates this to “Chavez funded the FARC and personally trained the guerrilla´s commando unit”. This, of course, without Camilla conducting any kind of further research (indeed, it wouldn´t surprise me if Camilla failed to read the related article and simply relied on the headline). Besides, Camilla probably wouldn´t be able to understand a rigorous debate on the topic and Paul would assume that if I support Chavez in any way, shape or form, that this would mean that I´m a FARC guerrilla (despite, of course, my criticism of the FARC. But this wouldn´t matter). Indeed, Paul probably assumes that because I wear red now and again that I´m a commie! I wish both Camilla (the WUM) and Paul could be more intellectually rigorous with their posts, especially given the former´s strong comments (Paul simply sits on the fence and tries to encourage Camilla submit her ridiculous posts).

    Pelosi is wearing red, Paul?! She´s a Chavista, no?! That´s enough evidence for me, Paul. I´m sold.

  13. Colombia » why'd you come to colombia??? Says:

    [...] Friday linksAll those international diplomats who worked to facilitate a humanitarian exchange or a peace agreement in Colombia? “Generally speaking, they had always been a nuisance,” President Uribe’s ever-quotable top advisor, José Obdulio … [...]

  14. Jaime Bustos Says:

    MZR, if you’ll excuse my observing, why do you have to reply to a WUM ? I only get tired thinking of typing the first letter in reply to paul o’greidy’s baloney.

  15. lfm Says:

    Pelosi in red? Suddenly everything makes sense. I always suspected that she was really a Republican (the red party in the US)! Now I understand why she doesn´t impeach Bush.

    Sorry to ruin the party for some of you but I don´t see Lula invading Venezuela any time soon. Keep that popcorn for another occasion.

  16. Camilla Says:

    Thanks, Paul, for the photo. I’d never seen it before. It kind of looks like something the Onion would do, except that it’s real. And the mockery of some dummies here at this site suggesting that this has nothing to do with Chavista sympathies is rather hollow in light of this documented FARC computer message, as reported by Ms. O’Grady:

    [Colombian Sen. Piedad Cordoba] met at the Venezuelan presidential palace with FARC leaders last fall. From that meeting the rebels reported that “Piedad says that Chávez has Uribe going crazy. He doesn’t know what to do. That Nancy Pelosi helps and is ready to help in the swap [hostages in exchange for captured guerrillas]. That she has designated [U.S. Congressman Jim] McGovern for this.”

    That photo was about this above FARC message. Very interesting that two the FARC symps in the picture wore Chavista red. It’s not the red that bothers me, but the actions that find their way into things like the FARC computer.

  17. Camilla Says:

    MZR: Camilla, maybe Pelosi can also comment on the 132 extrajudicial executions allegedly commit by the Colombian military in 2007, as reported on this very website?

    Well, she’s your girl, not mine, why don’t you get her to do that? The odds are higher of success if you ask her than if I do.

    But you leave out the part about how killing people extrajudicially is illegal in Colombia and perpetrators of such acts now sit in Colombian jails. Just as most killers in the US now sit in US prisons, so do many killers of Colombians now sit in Colombian jails. I know you’re big on perpetrating conspiracies about how the government wants to kill in secret and cover up deaths but that reality does not exist in Colombia. Kill a person, go to jail, that’s the way it goes over in Colombia.

    You seem to have a lefty nostalgia for imagining that Colombia is Chile 1973 or Guatemala 1976 and you’re this great leftist freedom fighter of some kind, speaking truth to power, like you are living in some Oliver Stone movie. But Colombia’s not that. It’s Colombia 2008 and this country is a wonderful country indeed.

  18. Jaime Bustos Says:

    I think I can say this without falling asleep in the process: Paul O’grady, shove your lefty nostalgia up yours, will you? :mrgreen:

  19. Randy Paul Says:

    Here’s why no one should take anything Camilla writes seriously:

    Thanks, Paul, for the photo. I’d never seen it before. It kind of looks like something the Onion would do, except that it’s real. And the mockery of some dummies here at this site suggesting that this has nothing to do with Chavista sympathies is rather hollow in light of this documented FARC computer message, as reported by Ms. O’Grady:

    That would not even result in the indictment of a ham sandwich. It’s called not just hearsay, Camilla, but double hearsay.

  20. Randy Paul Says:

    Nancy Pelosi in her own words on Hugo Chavez:

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was blunt in her criticism of the Venezuelan leader. “He is an everyday thug,” she said.

    [...]

    “Hugo Chavez abused the privilege that he had speaking at the United Nations,” Pelosi said. “In doing so, in the manner which he characterized the president, he demeaned himself and demeaned Venezuela.”

    Any reason to accept anything Paul and Camilla as anything more than wingnut nonsense?

  21. E Says:

    “Soquear,” described as a technique to save coca plants after fumigation is not “to soak” as you would suggest. Rather, it means “to prune” the plant to about ankle height to prevent the herbicide from reaching the roots. It is an effective technique if done within the first hours after spray, but it takes out at least a couple harvests and ultimately diminishes farmer returns, possibly making coca farming unprofitable, especially if it’s an annual occurrence.

  22. Camilla Says:

    No, Randy Paul.

    It’s called The FARC computer.

  23. Camilla Says:

    First of all, you ought to get up on what it says. Try reading the newspaper once in awhile, the Wall Street Journal, for one, has lots of news about this Pelosi comfort, via your pal Piedad, to FARC leaders.

    Second, if it’s all phony made-up stuff, just as Hugo Chavez says, why is he so afraid of it?

  24. Jaime Bustos Says:

    jcf, Remember I told you about the guys that were gunned down after taking off from the Andino Mall? Read Semana. Nobody knows the motives according to the pulp, but strangely enough I knew right from the start. Now you believe you live in a para country?

  25. Randy Paul Says:

    Camilla,

    The FARC computer message says that Piedad Cordoba says [first hearsay], that Chavez said [second hearsay]. Hearsay is not evidence. You’re punching above your intellectual weight.

    I have no doubt that Hugo Chavez has sympathies with and has lent the FARC support. However, the WSJ (which I do read, btw), has made a lot of claims in its opinion columns about Nancy Pelosi, but has not supplied any evidence to back up its claims. If you’re going to accuse the Speaker of the House of aiding and abetting terrorists, then you’d better be on more solid footing than double hearsay and a photo op with a visiting elected official who also happens to be wearing a red dress.

    Otherwise, you look even more like a witless partisan hack.

  26. lfm Says:

    Ah! The spectacle of a mind´s inevitable descent into paranoiac madness is something to behold. And to think that cipcol gives you live access to it for free! Randy, please, don´t try to stop the show.

  27. MZR Says:

    Camilla: “I know you’re big on perpetrating conspiracies about how the government wants to kill in secret and cover up deaths but that reality does not exist in Colombia.”

    Conspiracies? NGO conspiracies, you mean? To report 132 extra-judicial killings? In a single year? So there’s no truth in this whatsoever? The government has never been guilty of this crime? The government does not continue to perpetrate this crime? The reality does not exist? I’m afraid that, unfortunately, it does exist. And I think you’re the only person on this blog who cannot see it. No surprises there.

    Camilla: “Kill a person, go to jail, that’s the way it goes over in Colombia.”

    HAHAHAHAHA – I’m honestly laughing-out-loud at that one. What a ridiculous, ignorant and stupid comment from a ridiculous, ignorant and stupid person.

    Camilla, you of all people cannot lecture me on what Colombia is like. You have absolutely no idea. Every Camilla post exhibits utter ignorance. So I have to ask myself: “Why am I bothering to reply to the posts of a fool?” I have no idea… Jaime Bustos, you’re right. I should stop.

    Randy Paul’s comment to Camilla: “You’re punching above your intellectual weight.” How true…

  28. Camilla Says:

    Poor, pathetic Randy Paul. When facts fail you, you resort to personal insults. Is that a male thing? You know, abuse personally, because you can’t argue convincingly? Maybe you should take Ingrid’s advice to President Uribe about how to talk to enemies yourself. Or being a leftist, does that in your own mind exempt you from any human civility?

    One more time, and straight from the computers of FARC:

    “Piedad says that Chávez has Uribe going crazy. He doesn’t know what to do. That Nancy Pelosi helps and is ready to help in the swap [hostages in exchange for captured guerrillas]. That she has designated [U.S. Congressman Jim] McGovern for this.”

    Grow up, Randy Paul. O’Grady didn’t put that there. FARC did. Right in its computer. It means something. If you read it, you will actually know.

  29. Camilla Says:

    Listen to Jaime, MZR. Trust me, you’ll make less of a fool of yourself. Jaime has your personal welfare in mind.

  30. Randy Paul Says:

    Camilla,

    You have no facts. Double hearsay. Those are not facts.

    Let me dumb it down for you. Suppose I say that Jaime Bustos said that MZR said that Camilla is a child abuser. Does that make it true?

    Of course not. Yet these are the standards you employ and apparently that’s all you have. I certainly don’t need a lecture from you about growing up.

  31. Randy Paul Says:

    Or being a leftist, does that in your own mind exempt you from any human civility?

    And to think you have the temerity to lecture me about insults.

  32. MZR Says:

    Camilla, you are an imbecile. Please, take a piece of your own advice and listen to Randy Paul. I too will make it easy for your tiny brain: “BACK UP YOUR ARGUMENTS”. Please stop posting your utter nonsense on this blog. If you post something that is hearsay, then you should provide further evidence to highlight that what you are asserting is true. But you seem incapable of comprehending this easy concept. No surprises there, either. So, back-up your ridiculous arguments. As I said before, you are one of those fools who simply reads a headline (probably from an agency like CNN) and believes that it’s true. And, from the above posts, I see that I’m not the only one who thinks this is true.

    Now, I don’t think you’re a WUM anymore. I realise that you’re simply a tool…

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