While many think that Chavez was mostly mad at Lina Ron yesterday for upstaging him over the release of the FARC hostages, the truth is that the release of the hostages , while welcomed and celebrated by everyone, is not generating much goodwill for the FARC and indirectly for Chavez and the Venezuelan Government.
First of all, it is only a trickle, as one of the hostages released revealed, the FARC may have as many as 3,500 hostages and obviously their release four at a time every few weeks will become a tiring display of helicopters and goodwill. Second, the hostage that Chavez truly wanted to show off in front of international opinion, Ingrid Betancourt as not been released and according to the FARC there will be no releases unless conditions change.
But the final reason is simply that each release of the hostages is accompanied by horrific and terrorific dramatic statements by the hostages about the conditions of captivity they have found themselves in and the inhumane treatment they received by the FARC. Thus, by the time hostages are released and make their statements, people have conflicts reconciling the fact that Chavez sympathizes with the FARC and they have shown to be a brutal terrorist group on the treatment of the hostages under their hands.
Because there is little sympathy to begin with, as we are told that these innocent civilians have been kidnapped for half a dozen years and some, like the Deputy released yesterday, lost some of their closest relatives during this time. But then we hear how honroable and decent people are treated and there is simply no sympathy for the lack of humanity and decency this terrorist group has shown.
Senator Luis Eladio Perez, released yesterday after six years of captivity, revealed that Ingrd Betancourt was chained to a tree and forced to walk in the jungle barefoot after she attempted to escape with him and managed to stay free for five days. The Senator also revealed that the former Presidential candidate has liver problems but receives no medical attention.
He also revealed that the three US hostages are facing a difficult situation and that the letters they were carrying for the US President and tehir relatives were confiscated by the FARC before they wee handed over.
Senator Perez said he last saw Betancourt at the beginning of February and that she was defeated at the time both physically and morally and had told him to enjoy his freedom.
It was not Lina Ron, but the explicit inhumanity of the FARC in treating the innocent hostages that took the moment of victory away from Hugo Chavez.