Fox News on October 2, 2016, published an article by Fergus Hodgson on the dangers of the Colombian Farc-deal, which was later rejected by the Colombian voters in a referendum. Excerpts below:
The lengthy negotiation with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) proceeded under the protektion of communist Cuba in Havana, after five decades of conflict with the brutal terrorists.
Adamant support from Bolivarian Alliance neighbors…indicates what lies beneath the surface. This bloc, the brainchild of Hugo Chávez, opposes US influence in the Americas and advocates 21st-century socialism. Presidents Rafael Correa and Nicolás Maduro continue Chávez’s ambition in Ecuador and Venezuela.
These regimes have some of the most suffocated economies in world and a flagrant disregard for human rights such as free speech. Venezuela came in 159th and last in the latest Fraser Institute freedom ranking, and Ecuador is not much better at 142nd.
Venezuela is now more violent and dangerous than Colombia, with regime-backed militias such as the Tupamaro. Last week a gang took over the Caracas University Hospital, and over 100 Caracas policemen have been murdered in 2016.
The Marxist FARC are overt Chavistas and have a strong presence in Venezuela — with mutual affection expressed by both Chávez and Maduro — so they have negotiated in that direction. The agreement has 161 mandates, with 114 solely on the government.
…the terms create the institutionell and political gateway for a new member of this Bolivarian Alliance. Colombia would ignite the Chavista dream of a socialist Gran Colombia, a short-lived 19th-century republic under Simón Bolívar.
The FARC have largely boycotted past elections, but would be a force to be reckoned with. In part, they have already succeeded, since President Juan Manuel Santos’s coalition included sympathizers whose priority was the agreement. They would be able to draw on drug-cartel funds, activist networks, violence and intimidation, and state propaganda from the Chavista TeleSUR. All TeleSUR presidents have been Colombian since the 2005 founding, with an eye on influence there.
The agreement prohibits drug trafficking, but some FARC fronts will likely ignore this. The like-minded guerrilla Popular Liberation Army is also ready to move into vacated territory and sustain the profits.
Further, many politicians support the FARC goal of 21st-century socialism. That includes Gustavo Petro Urrego, a former Bogotá mayor, guerrilla, and now presidential aspirant with an approval rating of 40 percent.
Gushing international praise from the likes of President Barack Obama is naiveté and wishful thinking. There are reasons why former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010) rejected any concessions. He understood that there was no common ground, and that the FARC would renege on any agreement.
Colombia yearns for peace, but she need not capitulate before Latin America’s most bloodthirsty guerrillas.
Fergus Hodgson is an economic consultant with the Fraser Institute in Canada and a research fellow with the Tax Revolution Institute in Washington, DC.
Comment: Luckily the agreement was rejected by the Colombian electorate but negotiations will continue to find a solution.