(Play video here. Choose “Operación Jaque – Imágenes del rescate de Ingrid Betancourt.”)
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The Video of Operation Check Shows the Lies of Uribe and Santos – Watch it Closely!
Ylich Carvajal Centeno – Aporrea
The video of Operation Check, distributed worldwide by the “glorious” Colombian Army, shows the seams and clumsy patching stitches of Álvaro Uribe and his gray shadow, the Defense Minister “Santos” and a senior military officer, which conforms with winning a war through television screens while dozens of real soldiers lose their limbs, if not their lives in an absurd and fratricidal war in the mountains and jungles of Colombia.
If the video is analyzed in detail, frame by frame, more precise conclusions can surely be extracted, but the first one that jumps into view are the “handcuffs” that they placed on Ingrid Betancourt and the rest of the supposed “rescuees.” Continue reading
Pascual Serrano – Rebelión
I read an indignant outcry among progressive Venezuelan sectors over the contemptuous reaction of Ingrid Betancourt and her family toward people who took a great interest in her liberation, particularly President Hugo Chávea and Senator Piedad Córdoba. They speak indignantly of treachery which, evidently, is proof of ingratitude.
Betancourt and her family haven’t betrayed anyone, they’ve returned to the social, political and economic class to which they always belonged: Colombia’s moneyed, neoliberal bourgeoisie. Ingrid is the daughter of Gabriel Betancourt, Education Minister during the government of the dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, and of Yolanda Pulecio, who was a beauty queen who became Miss Colombia and a member of the House of Representatives in Bogotá. Betancourt, as a good daughter of the oligarchy, went to high school at the Lycee Frances in Bogotá and later studied political science in France at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris; she specialized in foreign trade and international relations. She lived in Paris for several years, where her father was a UNESCO ambassador; there she met her first husband, the French diplomat Fabrice Delloye, who she married in 1981. Continue reading
Is it me, or is there a hole in this story the size of a helicopter?
Anselvi Rada – Aporrea
I think it’s becoming clearer all the time what happened yesterday in Colombia; the FARC were going to deliver the hostages in good faith, having reached an agreement for a unilateral exchange; the objective reached by the two European delegates who’d been in Colombia since the beginning of the week, but something failed. No-one in the FARC foresaw that Uribe would infiltrate soldiers on the helicopters in order to take the credit. Surely the two European delegates didn’t forsee it either, or maybe they did… Continue reading
It seems that there is more to the story of the Colombian hostage rescue than you were originally told. And it has to do with ransom.
Now, Machetera finds this completely normal because she happens to know someone who was taken hostage in Colombia in the ’80′s, and his employer (evidently more generous than DynCorp) paid to get him out, and in only six months as opposed to five years. And that in turn, means of course that as far as the U.S. contractors were concerned, and quite frankly Ingrid Betancourt and the other 11 hostages, the people who were really keeping them in the jungle all that time were not the FARC.
But what she finds interesting about this story is not so much the ransom, or even the “media show” which was heavyhanded anyway, but the fact that Israelis were involved and can’t keep their mouths shut about it.
Swiss Radio Says Colombian Hostages Freed by $20 Million Payment and a “Show” Rather than a Rescue
July 4, 2008 – According to various European media reports today, RSR, Radio Suisse Romande, the state broadcaster, revealed yesterday that the operation through which Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other hostages were freed, was obtained through payment and not by skill or intelligence of the Colombian and U.S. authorities. Continue reading
Wait a second. They constructed a film set to practice Betancourt’s rescue? Who else does that?
Oh right, the CIA and U.S. Army funded Institute for Creative Technologies, “which uses Hollywood techniques to mount war simulations in California’s high desert in order to conduct military training” and has as its subcontractor, the Bono financed Pandemic Studios which created Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, based on a simulated invasion of…yes, Venezuela!
Ingrid Betancourt, the Pedagogy, the Perfection
Reinaldo Iturriza López – Aporrea
CNN called yesterday’s press conference with Álvaro Uribe, in the company of Ingrid Betancourt, the 11 rescuing soldiers and the senior military leadership an exercise in “pedagogy.” Ingrid Betancourt thanked “the Colombian communication media,” saying “this victory is also yours.” Globovisión, among others, reported that the Colombian Defense Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, described the Colombian military operation in the following terms: “It was a rescue out of the movies.” Leopoldo Castillo, the television anchor for Aló Ciudadano (Hello Citizen), also belonging to Globovisión, pronounced: “It was a movie worthy of Oliver Stone. The last one was not a winner at the box office. This one is.” Thursday afternoon, Juan Manuel Santos explained that the preparations for the military operation included the construction of a set similar to those in Hollywood, to practice the military exercises beforehand. The interview was given to CNN. Continue reading
Ingrid Betancourt’s impromptu airport press conference, flanked by the bloody Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos and other military officers with undeniably gringo features was one of the strangest spectacles Machetera has ever seen. Even considering the joy she must have felt at being liberated after so much time in captivity, her effusiveness toward her liberators suggests that the time she spent in the jungle with the FARC left her with no greater understanding of the Colombian conflict than when she was seized on her presidential campaign tour seven years ago. Her extravagant praise of Colombian President Uribe and the Colombian army (who, she implied, had one-upped Israel with its commando tactics) sounded more like a campaign speech than anything else – minus a recent visit to the dentist and blonde highlights in her hair.
Betancourt mentioned how shortly after the helicopter lifted off, suddenly, somehow, the lead guerrilla was on the floor, blindfolded, and the soldiers, oh-so-cleverly disguised in Che Guevara t-shirts (the most cynical appropriation of this great man’s image ever, but also a confirmation of his everlasting symbolic power), announced that they were actually from the Colombian army, and the hostages were now free. In respect to the capture of the guerrilla, she said, “Don’t think that I felt happy; I pitied him a lot, but I gave thanks to God that he was with people who respect the lives of others, even when they are enemies.” Someone should suggest that she tell that to the family of the Ecuadoran who was killed with a blow from a rifle butt to his neck after surviving Colombia’s bombing of the FARC camp on Ecuadoran soil.
The FARC is an easy target these days, with dwindling support from all quarters for its armed struggle, so Machetera has little desire to pile on. Yet there is something strange about the fact that seven years on, a captive should emerge with so little respect for the struggle being waged and should refer to her captors as “humiliators” and “despots.” The only hint at sympathy came near the end of what El Tiempo chose to broadcast of Betancourt’s statement – if there was more, perhaps it wasn’t convenient to the storyline – where she pointed a convoluted message at Alfonso Cano, insisting that the guerrillas were not to blame, that they’d left the hostages alive, but it was simply a “perfect operation.”
As usual, though, there’s more to the story. Pascual Serrano explains:
The FARC had Already Expressed to European Delegations Their Willingness to Liberate the Hostages
Doubts over whether the Colombian army intercepted the liberation in order to present it as a government success. Continue reading