Five reasons why Colombia is obsessed with Venezuela

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BOGOTA – The obsession of the Colombian right to try to destabilize the Government of Nicolás Maduro is explained by five reasons, the analyst and member of the FARC party Jorge Aponte explained to Sputnik. In addition, he denounced the lack of political guarantees that have complicated the existence of the party, which emerged after the 2016 peace agreements.

During the last General Assembly of the United Nations, Colombian President Iván Duque presented a 128-page report that allegedly demonstrated the ties of the Government of Venezuela with militant groups operating in Colombian territory.

The presentation culminated in scandal because the report contained false images but marks the constant position of the Duque management, which tried this year to establish itself as one of the main US allies in the attempts to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Indeed, it was in Colombia, in February 2019, that Duque received opposition leader Juan Guaidó and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to summon the countries of the world to ignore Maduro and support an alternative government.

Member of the FARC (Alternative Revolutionary Common Force) party Jorge Aponte identified five reasons to understand why the Colombian Government, and the Colombian right in general, strive to be strong opponents of the Venezuelan Government and staunch allies from the USA

“The first is that the revolutionary process in Venezuela has meant a break in the cycle of neoliberalism in Latin America and is a sign of the hope of building a different society, contrary to capitalism. For the Colombian right it is a threat that this is possible in a border country,” said the analyst.

A second reason, according to the FARC member, is that Venezuela is precisely a symbol of the “cooling of the ideas of independence, emancipation and socialism; ideas that were supposedly left behind and which we should give up.”

Aponte warned that the Colombian right has come to build “a matrix, a sophistry of distraction about what happens in the revolutionary process.”

For Aponte, Colombia’s anti-Venezuelan position is also explained by the possibility of minimizing the discourse of leftist movements in favor of peace processes. In that sense, he remarked that “the right in Colombia has benefited from the conflict, the war and business.”

In that sense, he stated that the experience of the Bolivarian Government allows the Colombian left to “move the axis of the discussion from war to peace.”

A fourth reason, Aponte argued, can be identified in the interest that Venezuela’s energy resources have for the US and “the imperialist countries of the region.” An imminent shortage of these resources “will call into question the sustainability of capitalism and neoliberal exploitation,” something that will dislike the powers.

The fifth explanation is, said the leader of the FARC, that the Colombian right is aware that “the economic and political model is increasingly unsustainable.” In that context, Bolivarian Venezuela also emerges as “the future of a social mobilization, within the framework of a democratic dispute that has struggled to change the way of understanding Bolivarian regional integration.”

How do Colombians benefit from attacks on Venezuela?

Aponte stressed that “the Colombian people would not benefit at all” from this attack on Venezuela and recalled that it has been the border between the two countries that has been most affected by the presence of paramilitary groups “that threaten the Venezuelan revolutionary process “.

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In addition, he considered, the actions against Maduro serve as a “smoke screen” to hide the allegations of corruption that dot high military commanders in Colombia and pay the accusations about the Colombian Government’s breach of the peace agreements signed in Havana in 2016 and that allowed the disarmament of guerrilla groups.

“In Colombia, a political-media discourse has been built in which the country’s problems are transferred to the background and we begin to consider that there is a more burdensome situation in the sister country,” said Aponte.

In this regard, he added that the Colombian right lacks “a look inward, towards the great difficulties of Colombia, with levels of poverty and inequality so high that they have no comparison in the region.”

The FARC party: political life and lack of guarantees

The FARC party emerged from the disarmament of the guerrillas and as a result of the peace agreements. Led by former guerrilla Rodrigo Londoño, aka ‘Timochenko’, the party managed to obtain five senators and five deputies in the 2018 general elections.

In October 2019, he faces regional elections for the first time, in which he presents candidates for mayors, mayor and municipal councilors.

For Aponte, the process of structuring the party throughout the country has had to survive “a very deep stigmatization” and “a resurgence of political violence towards social leaders and political opposition” that has reached them especially. In the early hours of Friday, October 11, the FARC headquarters in Bogotá was the victim of an attack with shots and incendiary bombs, something that also happened to the Colombian Communist Party and Patriotic Union, also from the left.

“It is a sample of the difficulties we have to do the exercise of politics in legality. There is a breach of the political reinstatement of our militancy and there are no guarantees for the exercise of politics in Colombia,” said the leader.

The announcement of rearmament of a faction of ex-guerrillas, including Iván Márquez and Jesús Santrich, also harmed the FARC party. For Aponte, the news “helps deepen the stigmatization and stereotype, not only of the FARC party but of the leftist forces.”

Trial against Uribe: a door against impunity

Aponte also appreciated that the judicial process against former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, charged with alleged crimes of bribery and procedural fraud , may be “encouraging news because it implies that a small door of non-impunity can be opened.”

In that sense, he celebrated that Justice can summon “one of the biggest criminals in the country, who in this case is not being accused for so many crimes he has committed but for bribery and manipulation of witnesses.”

“It is a door of hope to continue building a society that abandons impunity, that repairs the facts committed during the war and that the victims of state terrorism can be compensated and their rights satisfied,” he added.

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