(Weil: And I propose to the world…specially the people of Transylvania that we stop qualifying Count Dracula as a vampire)
The whole issue of the FARC is so absurd that I meant to stay away from it, but by now it reveals so much about the true state of mind of Hugo Chavez that I can’t help but comment on the whole FARC(e) he has staged over the last few days after he left his mouth opened for so long that the truth came out and he has spent his time trying to make himself the big humanitarian that he ain’t.
For years, everyone has suspected Hugo Chavez’ admiration for the FARC, which are apparently not too reciprocal, given the way the FARC left Hugo Chavez repeatedly standing at the rescue attempt altar over the last three months. But Hugo and the FARC have a sordid history of close calls and cover ups since Chavez became President that all the last few days prove is the FARC(e) Hugo has staged over the years to protect his international image that he now tries to hide under the transparent cover of his fake humanism and care for others.
In the early Chavez days, General Gonzalez Gonzalez brought to Chavez’ attention the number of FARC camps within Venezuela’s borders which were not being eliminated by the country’s armed forces. Under Chavez’ orders, Gonzalez Gonzalez was told not to do anything, which created a deep chasm between the General and the autocrat which led to Gonzalez Gonzalez not only splitting from the Government, but from Chavez going after him. He remains at large at this time.
By that time FARC friendly Rodriguez Chacin had become Minister of the Interior, raising all sorts of tales about his relationship with the guerrilla group that were never clarified. Chavez got rid of Rodriguez Chacin, rumored to be Chavez’ Ambassador to the FARC, in one of his many Cabinet shake ups and the issued died down. Later, he was found to have two separate identities under very similar names and to have deposited a multimillion Bolivar or dollar amount under his “secondary” identity at a local institution.
But in a country where opposition figures are prosecuted and persecuted for shifting funds from one line item to the other and prohibited from holding public office for years, no Prosecutor ever charged Rodriguez Chacin. But it did not seem to happen as the former Minister had simply disappeared from the face of the Earth with some even claiming he had died in one of his “secret” missions for Chavez and others claiming he had simply moved to his newly acquired cattle farm in Barinas state near the border with Colombia.
But it seemed irrelevant at the time as Rodriguez Chacin could (would?) never come back to an important position, so what was the point? Let sleeping or war dogs lie, wherever they may be.
Later, one Foreign Minister of the FARC was found living in Venezuela illegally, or legally depending on your point of view, using an assumed named, moving about and living the life of the guerrilla rich and famous, and aided by, guess who, none other than Rodriguez Chacin when he was Minister.
But Venezuela’s ineffable Justice system was too busy to look into this, instead prosecuting Uson, Mendoza and the like for saying things, and everyone was happy as Rodriguez Chacin was nowhere to be found as Chavista hordes even made Granda out to be a hero in one of their marches.
And while Chavez denied and denies that there are FARC in Venezuela, Granda was very clear when he was “kidnapped” by Colombian authorities saying the FARC has people “everywhere”, and in fact he actively participated in a “Bolivarian” Congress in Venezuela, where Granda using his fake Venezuelan nationality and identity, the same one he used to vote in the referendum to recall Chavez, actually managed to propose a condemnation of Uribe, the US and the attacks on the FARC.
And then, after some silence on the issue, Chavez saw his chance to prop up his much damaged reputation in teh world, when he discovered the interest of the French and the new French President on the Ingrid Betancourt issue. And even as his buddies in the FARC did not deliver, making him look bad, he kept the attack on Colombian President Uribe, making him look as the bad guy, as if the FARC did not hold thousands of hostages in its hands and forgetting the thousands of deaths and injured in their record.
The FARC the forced us to watch Director Stone and first gentleman Kirchner waste their time in the heat of Villavicencio, as the FARC accused Uribe of military operations barring the return of the captives. Chavez defended the FARC and accused Uribe, so did the dumb Director and only Kirchner showed that he at least has some political sixth sense as he tried to leave the Colombian town before the whole thing collapsed. Then Uribe explained how the “humanitarian” FARC turned over Enmanuel with a broken arm, malaria and parasites to a caretaker, who realized the severity of the child’s health, turning him into Colombian social authorities, a true act of humanity which almsot cost him his life.
While Uribe gave this explanation in a very calm fashion, Chavez and his Foreign Minister stridently questioned it and suggested this was another step to “boycott” and “dynamite” Chavez’ operation to get the attention of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. And as Enmanuel’s mother and friend were finally released, a revived Rodriguez Chacin was put in charge of the operation and everyone heard him tell the guerrillas releasing the hostages to “hang in there” and ” we will support you”. Remarkable words for a man no longer a civilian but now in charge of the Ministry of the Interior and Justice of Venezuela, despite his outlaw background.
But as Chavez’ hopes were dashed and he spoke freely and reportedly under sedation or the effects of coca leaves Chavez went over board, calling for the world to remove the FARC from its terrorist lists. But it was a matter of the tongue being faster than the brain or simply the output to be under no control from the brain. And as friendly and unfriendly Governments called Chavez’ bluff, the autocrat tried to make it look better than it was, failing miserably,
Failing, because even if the FARC began as an organized Army with a political goal, its use of kidnapping and drug trafficking has washed away this long gone idealism which turned the organization into a mercantile operation and a FARC(e).
Even worse, Chavez failed, like Brazilian President Lula, to ask the FARC for anything. He could ave asked for teh 3,000 hostages to be released as a gesture of good will. Or more simply, he could have asked them to stop kidnapping and killing, but just yesterday the great “humanitarian” organization known as the FARC kidnapped six tourists, one Norwegian, to add to their stock of human captives.
And while Chavez continued to defend the FARC without calling for any concession on their part, he denies the FARC or ELN have any Venezuelans in their hands, outraging the relatives and making a true mockery of the whole process.
But as countries like Spain, that have seen the Basque separatist group ETA kill and maim in a scale that is almost miniscule compared to the barbaric and massive acts of the FARC, refuse and condemn Chavez request to remove the terrorist group form their black list, former Colombian President Gaviria says Chavez is violating the OAS charter with his request and the Presidents of Guatemala and Ecuador distance themselves form the autocrat.
But Chavez himself proved his sympathy for the rebel group, when he said the FARC were Bolivarian, a name he has reserved exclusively for his own movement over the years, But Bolivar would be ashamed of both. Chavez who ignores the people and concentrates in his own ambitious goals for power forever and the FARC, with their absolute disregard for the “people” they claim to love and represent.
In the end it is simply a FARC(e) as both Chavez and the guerrilla group simply aspire for power, without any clear plan as to what they would do with it once they have.
That is why Hugo is more interested in projecting himself internationally than dealing with the tough and daily problems of the Venezuelan citizens.
What a FARC(e)!