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Same Dog ­New Collar, Says FARC

Same Dog ­New Collar, Says FARC

On it's 40 years anniversary, Colombia's main guerrilla FARC tries to set the record straight: 40 years ago we fought 16,000 government soldiers in Marquetalia, today it is the 20,000 US-led troops of "Operation Patriot" in the Yarí region, as well as 130,000 soldiers more who are fighting FARC in the rest of Colombia, the rebels state in a new communiqué. ANNCOL has translated the complete text, as a sevice to our readers.

23.05.2004 (ANNCOL) As a service to our readers ANNCOL has translated the complete text of the latest communiqué from the Secretariat of the Central General Staff of the FARC-EP: http://www.anncol.com/index-english.htm

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40 years of struggle for peace, sovereignity and social justice

40 years ago in Marquetalia in the department of Tolima, 16 thousand soldiers started an offensive against 48 farmers. Forced by circumstances, they took to arms to defend themselves against the attack, and so founded the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Today, transformed into the People's Army, they constitute a true popular alternative.

Since that May 27 of 1964, the FARC-EP has not for a moment paused in our struggle , fighting with the utmost revolutionary dedication and optimism in defense of the most vital interests of our people, and above all in the search for political solutions to the military confrontation and to the social inequalities which prevent our development.

Exactly 20 years ago in Uribe in the department of Meta, we initiated a Process of Cease Fire and Truce which should have culminated in a Treaty of Stable and Enduring Peace. This was not to be, because of the myopic and unrealistic vision of the oligarchy, which pretends to be able to end the revolutionary insurgency without effecting fundamental changes in the economic and social structure of the country, and without substantial modification of the political rules of play nor of the relationship between the State and society.

Despite this, it was a vital process that opened new horizons in the possibility of reaching accords through essentially political and bloodless means.

How to counter the consequences of an oligarchic strategy which in these last 58 years has caused an orgy of bloodshed, which with bullets eliminated the political opposition, the trade union and social movement leadership in our communities, and thousands of countrymen who simply expressed their dissatisfaction with decisions taken by the regime?

The seeds of political intolerance and hate have been sown by the highest official circles. As the present President says: who is not with me is against me!

By labeling any who oppose the official policy as "subversive", "communist" or "terrorist", more than 90% of all Colombians have risked being assassinated, disappeared or tortured, or being dispossessed of their land and goods, by the direct action of uniformed or un-uniformed government services, or of paramilitary government services who bring terror to the population in the name of the ²legitimately² constituted institutions. For this reason the numbers of countrymen who are displaced to the belts of urban misery or even outside the country grows unceasingly.

With these morsels of war that have been the daily bread of the Colombians from 1946 till today, the oligarchy seeks to create an environment free of opposition, the more easily to impose it¹s economic and social measures that bring benefits to the most powerful transnational corporations, to a small group of rich Colombians and to the corrupt who fill their pockets with public money.

At the bidding of the oligarchy the country is being chained to the FTAA, benefiting the North American capital interests and a few Colombians, but bringing misery to millions of countrymen. At the bidding of the large ranchers of the cattlemen¹s association, Fedeganlas, the fertile land is being concentrated more and more in the hands of a few, while the eviction and resettling of poor farmers continues.

At the bidding of Colombia¹s rich health and education stopped being an obligation of the state and became shady business ventures of private capital; telecommunications, which years ago were owned by all the Colombians, have been chopped up and thrown open to the voracious competition of powerful transnational corporations who press for their privatization; similar to what happened to government oil company ECOPETROL, where they dissolved the company as a collective property of all the Colombians and have away our subterranean riches to the international oil companies; a process of privatization that also includes the public utility companies, where they let private speculative capital decide the price of electricity, water and garbage; as they also did with the national road network and public transport.

They have threatened us with new economic reforms that will reduce the old age pension of the poorest and impose value added tax on basic necessities and other items, so that the rich pay the same taxes as the poor. On top of this they want to augmented the privileges of the military caste, as if they didn¹t have enough with those that their war gives them.

As a way of guaranteeing this whole neoliberal policy the strengthen the military machinery of the State: war legislation, war budget, treatment of social dissidence as an act of war, the mass media acting under the tutelage of Department 5 of the Armed Forces, the military assuming police powers ­ that is to say total impunity on grounds of war, the Attorney General¹s office and the Supreme Court at the orders of the executive branch and of the generals, the National Parliament eating out of the hand of the President, and this man the MP¹s who walk hand in hand with paramilitarism mounting a bloodbath in Tierralta, all working with the new Uribist Party while they distribute the businesses of the State, the ministries, the embassies and organize the new electoral campaign for reelection.

40 years ago it was the time of the National Security Doctrine, the State of Siege and tha LASO Plan, invented, designed, financed and directed by the North American Pentagon, since, as everyone knows, the gringos have always liked to foment wars, as long as they are distant from their territory. Today the imminent death of ²terrorism² is the pretext for repressing opposition.

Today is the time of Democratic Security, the Antiterrorist Statute and Plan Colombia, invented and designed in English, financed and directed by the Pentagon and the North American Department of State, that is, the same dog with a new collar.

Meanwhile, to our disgrace, during the last 40 years the blood of many Colombians has flown.

Yesterday it was 16,000 soldiers against Marquetalia, today 20,000 participate in Operation ²Patriots² against the region of the Yarí, and 130,000 more who fight the FARC in the rest of country.

Years ago the imminent liquidation of the ²bandit pockets² was announced, later the imminent end of the ²communist subversion², and now the imminent death of ²terrorism².

As the guerillas of Marquetalia stated in their declaration 40 years ago, we can affirm: ²this is why North American troops, planes, officers and specialists participate against us in this war, this is why throw 16,000 men against us.

This is why they use the tactic of the economic blockade against us, the zone of extermination, the attacks by air and land, and now, the bacteriological war. This is why the government and the ²yankee² imperialism employ millions of dollars and pesos in this war against us. This is why the intelligence and security services of the State suborn and corrupt minds, kill, persecute and imprison the Colombian people who rise to struggle in solidarity with us, victims of a cruel and inhumane war of extermination.²

Because the reasons that have given life to this intense conflict are essentially the same as 40 years ago, today complemented by the indignity of the Treaty of Extradition and the discussion and approbation in the North American Congress of more of their military contingents in our territory, seeking the humiliation of the country similar to that which is going on at present i Iraq, all of it motivated by the fascist thinking and the megalomania that characterize Álvaro Uribe as well as his mentor, George W. Bush.

To celebrate 40 years of struggle we call on all Colombians in favor of coexistence to work to construct a new government that will give priority to a political resolution of the national crisis and the rescue of our downtrodden national sovereignity; we call them to continue strengthening the clandestine struggle with the Bolivarian Movement for a New Colombia for the social and political demands of our people; we invite them to continue the struggle for the exchange of prisoners of war, towards which we maintain the most positive attitude.

We invite all the revolutionary guerilla movement, the forces of the left and the democratic and progressive popular movement to work for unity against the fascist monster that is advancing across Colombia, to support the struggles of the workers in defense of their rights, to work for a continental unity against the aggression of the Empire, for solidarity with Cuba and Venezuela and for the right to free self determination of the peoples.

We remember with admiration and love all the comrades lost in action, headed by comandantes Jacobo Arenas and Efraín Guzmán.

We salute the prisoners of war and the political prisoners who in the prisons of the regime face with dignity the oppression with which it is thought they can be broken. Before all these and before the people we reaffirm our unwavering dedication, our iron resolve in struggle and our profound faith in the triumph of the Bolivarian cause of the FARC-EP.

Secretariat of the Central General Staff, FARC-EP

The mountains of Colombia, May 20, 2004


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