Martín Padrino – Aporrea
Ingrid Betancourt’s declarations, directed by the baton of godfather Álvaro Uribe, couldn’t be any more eloquent for those who care about peoples’ sovereignty. Ignoring the respect that should prevail between neighboring nations in their international relations, they used Venezuela to carry out the liberation of the 15 hostages that were in the hands of the FARC-EP, in the custody of Gerardo Aguilar Ramírez, alias “César,” and Alexander Farfán, alias “Enrique Gafas. This can be ascertained from the show put on by the Colombian government, which received backing afterwards from the U.S. Republican presidential candidate, McCain, and brought to light once again the incorrigible practice of state terrorism.
Betancourt, in her declarations with Uribe as conductor, made it clear that Venezuela is behind the FARC. That’s how Ingrid put it. The strategy consisted of a game of questions and answers:
Uribe: Ingrid, say what color the helicopter was.
Ingrid: White, Señor Presidente.
Uribe: And were you able to identify whether the helicopter had any kind of insignia?
Ingrid: Presidente, over the years, we’ve become professionals at this, of course I was able to identify…
After this last question, an air of suspense filtered through the discourse for a moment, and then the matter was left, for people to understand and interpret as they wished.
Well then, the denouement that has not ceased to be important in the lives of these people, had the effect of making President Chávez less of a hero, and Venezuela a complicit country. This is nothing strange for Venezuela. Bolívar had good reason when on June 5, 1828, he said, “the headquarters of the agitators was in Bogotá; the perfidious and criminal Santander was the head of that party that consists of everything that is most discredited in Colombia, the most immoral, most perverse, and criminal…Santander…is the natural leader of all the disorder and malcontents in that country, and stirs up the hatred of everyone toward Venezuelans.” (De Lacroix; 2006: 135). Any resemblance to Uribe is purely coincidental.
Facing public opinion, Ingrid and Uribe were presented as an unbeatable duo, to warn that the facilitation of Chávez, Correa and other leaders should be limited to seeking hostage liberation, respecting the Colombian government and trying to convince the guerrillas to abandon armed struggle and make peace. “They should help us achieve freedom for the kidnapped, not strengthen the war in Colombia…the changes that they want to offer should be through a democratic path.”
The ex-presidential candidate’s proposition not only surprises those of us who heard it, but also creates uncertainty if we consider that while today she is free, during her captivity she was convalescent and could only with some difficulty have been conscious of what was taking place around her. As an example, we can look to the declarations of the policeman who functioned as her nurse. This citizen said that the photograph that served as proof of Ingrid’s life was taken when she was better. He also said that being bedridden, she didn’t understand much of what was going on. If that is the case, the obvious question is the following: How is it possible that Ingrid, being ill, had sufficient elements of judgment remaining to think that Venezuela’s mediation could be contributing to the strengthening of the guerrillas and not to the Colombian peace process, as she indicated? Could it be that on July 2, when she was freed, something additional occurred? Or is it that the liberation was an excuse to incriminate Venezuela as an ally of the guerrillas in the eyes of the world?
The previous questions have only one answer and we know the truth. The Colombian godfather, inspired by his forefather Santander, has known how to tie all the threads of this issue together in order to implicate us. The latest links in the chain are alias “César” and “Enrique Gafas,” the two arrested guerrillas. Soon they will be extradited to the land of Uncle Sam where they will surely be silenced or sent to Guantánamo.
However, the way in which the liberation unfolded, just like the blood on Ingrid’s trousers, allows us to unmask Uribe’s intentions: with the validation of Venezuela’s image as a mediating country, a role that not even the church in that country was able to achieve, he manipulated the FARC secretariat under the pretext of carrying out an action of humanitarian aid. And he did it by passing as representatives of the Venezuelan government in a white helicopter (similar to those recently bought from the Russians) for the transfer of the hostages to another region, or country. This last part has an interesting ring, now that Ingrid has revealed that before getting on the helicopter, she’d deduced that they were going to be taken to another country, that might be Venezuela, judging by the spectacle.
We can conclude that the liberation of the twelve Colombians and three kidnapped North Americans from the FARC, was a show designed to compromise Venezuela and position us as a meddling country. The Venezuelan government should be alert. The worst is yet to come. Commandante Chávez should take care with Colombia’s Santander: it’s a lie that the liberation was achieved without bloodshed. The commitment assumed by our president in which he said that “we will continue to help with liberation until the last hostage and to achieve peace in Colombia” should be re-examined, considering that this has become a trap.
Martín Padrino is a lawyer, licensed social worker, and professor at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, and a spokesperson for the Simón Bolívar Substitute Batallion of the Altagracia parish in Caracas.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.