Dear comrades at Venezuelanalysis,
Who is a hostage and who is a prisoner? I think you are confused on the matter and mistakenly use the term “hostage” when talking about the “prisoners of war” held by the FARC-EP. There is a civil war in Colombia and there are prisoners of war held by both the FARC-EP and the Colombian state. There are 7200 Colombian political prisoners and prisoners of war being held in the prisons of the corrupt and criminal President Uribe. This makes the small wealthy elite of Colombia very happy.
On the people’s side in the Colombian civil war, the FARC-EP hold a few hundred prisoners of war in jungle enclosures. The vast majority are members of the armed forces or police of the Colombian state. The FARC-EP captures most of these armed forces in battle. The FARC-EP also imprisons elected officials of the Colombian state–the people who give the orders to the armed forces–those actually responsible for the war. The captives must live a life similar to the life of the rebel guerrillas. It is a rigorous and hard life compared to what the middle classes in the U.S. or France are used to. The guerrilla life is so difficult that three U.S. mercenaries moaned and groaned about it to the U.S. press when they were finally freed from the FARC-EP. The point is that the FARC-EP do not hold any hostages. Venezuelanalysis should stop repeating the term used by the Bush administration.
Then there is the case of Colombian rebel Ricardo Palmera (Simon Trinidad) here in the U.S. If anyone in the Colombian civil war is a hostage, it is Professor Palmera. All the rules were broken to put this intelligent and brave FARC leader in a U.S. prison. From the moment U.S. agents illegally abducted Palmera in Ecuador, to his extradition to Washington D.C., to the bias and cheating at his four U.S. trials, his solitary confinement, no interviews with the press, no contact with his many supporters here in the U.S. The U.S. government still has not broken Ricardo Palmera. Palmera outwitted the U.S. State Department and Department of Justice. Palmera beat nine out of ten charges and if he appeals, he will beat them on the charge of “belonging to a criminal conspiracy”. U.S. hostage Palmera deserves to be set free.
in struggle, Tom Burke
Spokesperson for the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera and supporter of the Bolivarian Revolutions.