May 10th: Save the Date!


 On May 10th, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London is publishing a massive dump of never-bef0re-published Raul Reyes laptop docs: courtesy of a leak-cum-final-parting-fuck-you-from-Uribe-to-his-onetime-protegé.

Now that FARC is pretty much licked and evicted from the Venezuelan side of the border, this stuff is no longer really strategically relevant: more like tittle-tattle.

Still, I’ll get the pop-corn if you’ll get the beers!

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  1. There’s something that I don’t quite get just yet. Whose word is it that we are trusting to say that the FARC is completely out of Venezuela, and when did they get such credibility?

      • Yes, but Santos is a politician, his job is to forward Colombia’s interests. If saying that is what it would take for the relationship with Venezuela to stabilize and to make the money flow again he was going to say it, the truth of the underliyng matter being irrelevant. My point is that I find it hard to believe that the FARC just decided to grab their stuff and go back to where there is a military that actually fights them, just because.
        I dont see any reason why we should take Santos’s word for granted.

        • Right, so you’re now postulating a wideranging conspiracy of the far right with the far left to cover-up the ongoing presence of FARC in Venezuela on the basis of no evidence whatsoever!

          What’s happening here is not hard to figure out. Chávez and Santos are cooperating. Even when it’s hard, even when it’s ideologically distasteful. If Santos is going to swallow hard and send a Makled back to Venezuela, there *will* be backsheesh.

          • And what, if I may ask, has Chavez and Santos cooperation to do with FARC being, or not, in Venezuela? Are you implying that this new friendship amounts to more than economics? Furthermore, have you got any evidence (public please), that Chavez is *actually* doing something to uproot the FARC *from/in* Venezuela? What we do know, thus far, is that the cachacos gave the green light to IISE to publish some of the data. Do you not wonder why?

            On the basis of no evidence whatsoever? What are you know, the ultimate source on FARC operations?

  2. Let’s get real. Number one: Santos(as I pointed out in response to a previous post on this matter) NEVER said the FARC had left Venezuela, merely that the camps that had been detected had been dismantled. Not at all the same thing. Number two: the FARC is still in Venezuela, as anyone with good access to sources on the border (including the Colombian government) knows perfectly well. They are much less visible in the populated areas, perhaps. But go down to the woods (specifically that part of the woods that lies between San Fernando de Atabapo and San Carlos del Rio Negro, in Amazonas), and you’ll find them crawling with hundreds of FARC guerrillas. Of course, you can’t do that, because the government won’t allow access to anyone who might tell tales. But the notion that the FARC has left Venezuela is absurd.

    • OK, I badly overstated my point.

      Let me go back and qualify.

      Now that FARC’s semi-permanent camps are dismantled on the Venezuelan side of the border and that the Venezuelan government’s posture has shifted from giving the rebels Carte Blanche and extensive cooperation to arresting its leaders and handing them over to the Colombian government, this stuff is no longer so strategically relevant…

      • I think you’re right in one sense: that however damning the email traffic stored on ‘Raul Reyes’ hard drives may be in a historical sense, it’s possible to argue that we’ve turned the page. The Venezuelan government could say, ‘well, the cooperation you claim we gave the FARC before – and which we deny – is obviously no longer relevant, since even Santos says that alleged collaboration is now not a problem’. Serious questions, however, remain. Has Chávez given up on the continental revolution, in which the FARC are his strategic partner and the Colombian oligarchy his strategic enemy? Most unlikely. Can Colombia ultimately defeat the FARC while they retain safe havens on the Venezuelan side of the border and are relatively free to pursue their lucrative trafficking activities? Equally implausible. Santos is hoping his ‘new best friend’ will be out of power by January, 2013. Chávez is waiting for the next opportunity to go back on the strategic offensive. The size and characteristics of the FARC presence in Venezuela are a matter of serious concern. For the moment, that concern is simmering on a back-burner. But let’s not pretend it’s all in the past. And a future, non-chavista Venezuelan government is going to have to deal with the ugly fact that its institutions have been deeply compromised by the current administration’s cosy relationship with organised crime.


    “Nunca dije que ya no hay presencia de las FARC en Venezuela, sino que los campamentos que teníamos localizados ya no están en el sitio donde sabíamos que estaban… hoy por hoy el Gobierno no sabe si esos campamentos están en Venezuela o en Colombia”

    Coincidencialmente el pasado 19 el jefe máximo de las FARC, Alfonzo Cano, hacía un llamado al comandante Grannobles, hermano del fallecido Mono Jojoy, para que “deje el refugio que tiene en la frontera con Venezuela y vuelva al combate. La guerra está aquí y estamos necesitando gente”. Cano alertó a quienes “están escondidos en las fronteras para que regresen y asuman responsabilidades militares”. Más claro no canta un gallo, así sea rojo…


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