Washington, D.C., August 25th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro offered his congratulations and his country’s support as the Colombian Peace Accords were signed in La Habana, Cuba Wednesday.
The Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) entered into negotiations four years ago in an effort to end 52 years of armed conflict in the South American nation. Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez played a direct role in the negotiations encouraging both parties to engage in a dialogue for the benefit of the Colombian people.
“Count on all [our] support to build peace,” expressed Maduro on his official Twitter account.
The Peace Accords were signed by the key negotiators of the talks, FARC representative Iván Márquez and Humberto de la Calle on behalf of the Colombian government along with Cuban and Norwegian government representatives.
Maduro emphasized that he would do everything within his ability “to continue working for peace in Colombia, which is peace for South America, for Venezuela.”
Roy Chaderton, Venezuelan envoy to the peace talks in Cuba, told Chinese news outlet Xinhua, “This is a historic day after decades of suffering and death. Peace is now at hand and this is a lesson for all those that never believed in the talks and wanted to continue the violent war.”
Earlier this year, FARC leader Timoleon Jiménez, also known as Timochenko, expressed his appreciation for former President Chávez’s role in the peace process. Jiménez recalled, “Especially for me, at the time [when Chávez spoke with me] I said, 'Man [he] is to be trusted. He is a man I'm sure will not stab us in the back'.”
“He was consistent until the last day. When this peace process ends successfully … we will have to give him the well-deserved praise for the role he played,” reported teleSUR in February.
The Peace Accords will be put to a popular vote to the Colombian people for final approval on October 2.
"Now the battle of ideas can start," emphasized FARC representative Márquez at the signing. "The peace deal is a point of departure—not of closure—toward the social transformations demanded by the masses."
Cuban peace guarantor Rodolfo Benítez expressed, "The final deal looks to address the root causes of the conflict: land, property, exclusion of campesinos, affecting especially women and children."
The negotiations reached a bilateral ceasefire on June 23.
The accords center on five key themes: agrarian reform, justice, political participation, an end to the conflict as well as crop substitution for illicit coca farms. Specifically, the accords also stipulate the demobilization of the FARC and allow them to enter into the political arena as a political party or movement in Colombia.
Justice for victims of the armed conflict as well as investigations into missing persons as well as the disappeared are also highlighted among other issues.