Tag Archives: Colombia

Oligarchs are snakes by nature, in case you didn’t know

Ingrid’s Treachery

Pascual Serrano – Rebelión

Translation: Machetera

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

Lights, camera…Ingrid on One!

By now you’ve probably heard that a ransom of $20 million was actually paid to get Betancourt & Co. out of the jungle, and the whole Hollywood rescue was elaborately staged to conceal that inconvenient fact. More on that later, but since the media show is still in full swing, and it is after all so very entertaining, let’s linger for awhile on the Ingrid Betancourt show.

A Profoundly Oligarchic Ingrid

(The female version of Leopoldo López)

José Sant Roz – Aporrea

Translation: Machetera

Ingrid, profoundly oligarchic, her greatest aspiration, it’s said, was to forever remain on the front pages of the worldwide media.

This is a woman who, we in this capitalist system, usually call “lucky.” Daughter of oligarchs, intelligent, ambitious, agile and alert, striking for her liveliness, grace, but who naturally reached a point where she became terribly tired of herself, and everything that a formal life offered her. Her mother, Yolanda Pulencio, was an ex-beauty queen who became Miss Colombia. Her father, Gabriel, was Education Minister in the government of the dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953-1957). She enrolled in political sciences at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, and in the ’80’s, married one of her classmates, the French diplomat Fabrice Delloye, father of her two children, Melanie and Lorenzo (who she never had to raise). Typical of oligarchs such as Mario Vargas Llosa, she acquired French citizenship, and in her moments of leisure and ennui, would dedicate herself to playing in Colombian politics; when the news arrived, every day, about the bodies of some renowned politician or other, dismembered, tossed in the air, she despaired at not being in the center of these scenes. All that she might have desired might have been acquired, in this partisan plane, including the Presidency of the Republic, which, it appeared was not sufficient to meet her need for supreme reaffirmation: global recognition, complete and absolute. She longed for something stronger, something more definitive, something that would leave a mark of intense pain, of sorrow and glory, at once. Continue reading

Petras takes off the gloves

Today Machetera presents a translation of a Uruguayan radio interview with the U.S. sociologist James Petras, which aired on June 9. Petras bitterly disagrees with Chávez’s recent statements about the FARC, and blames Cuba, which should come as no surprise to anyone who read his moving tribute to Manuel Marulanda, where he made some gratuitous swipes at Fidel Castro and indirectly, el Che, for having the bad taste to turn up on t-shirts worn by “middle-class college students.”

But Chávez’s recent remarks are no surprise either, for anyone who was paying attention to his April remarks at the meeting with the “In Defense of Humanity” network. Whether Chávez has always believed this, or has come to adopt the Cuban point of view seems to Machetera to be utterly irrelevant, and Petras’s remarks on the subject sound almost like red-baiting. Or Cuban-baiting maybe. Continue reading

Telling the truth about Colombia

Today Machetera offers two small translations, both to do with Colombia. The first, this brief note by Pascual Serrano, following the FARC’s confirmation of the death of its commandante, Manuel Marulanda, and the second, a memory of Marulanda by Gloria Gaitán, whose father, the political candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, was murdered in Bogotá in 1948, sparking the guerrilla war that has gone on for 40 years now. Update: James Petras’ Homage to Marulanda which includes a lot of interesting details about the history of the conflict as well as Marulanda’s leadership, can be found here.

A Map of the World

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

–George Orwell

The Guerrilla Conflict in Colombia Enters a New Era

Pascual Serrano – Público

Translation: Machetera

With the confirmation of death by natural causes of the head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Manuel Marulanda, who joins his fellow FARC leaders [in death], Raúl Reyes and Iván Rios, it’s time for the parties to begin a new path that will leave Colombia’s violence and bloodshed behind.

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“FARC” computers go back to the future!

Look what Interpol found on the “FARC” computers!

  • 2,110 files with creation dates ranging between 20 April 2009 to 27 August 2009
  • 1,434 files which show as having been last modified between 5 April 2009 and 16 October 2010

Wait! Computer dates aren’t set in stone by the immutable Atomic Clock in Denver? But that would mean…

Interpol’s Report Confirms that the Supposed FARC Computers Were Manipulated

(The parts of the report they’ve not wanted to emphasize)

Carlos Martínez/Pascual Serrano – Rebelión

Translation: Machetera

Last March 1, the Colombian Army attacked a FARC camp in Ecuadoran territory. The army supposedly captured three laptops, three flash drives and two external hard disks. And it must be said “supposedly” because said evidence was not obtained under established police or judicial procedures, but rather through military aggression in a foreign country, making any evidence obtained thereby illegal and unusable in any judicial procedure.

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Kellogg Brown and Root thanks you very very much

Photo from La Jornada with caption:

Yesterday Marine Commander James Terry Conway visited with soldiers wounded in combat with Colombian guerrillas at the naval hospital in Bogota.

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Did you know there’s a good David Brooks? You must have known there’s a bad one – the one who’s paid buckets of money to unzip his mouth and unload not very unconventional wisdom for the likes of the New York Times, NPR and whatever that PBS news show is called nowadays. The good David Brooks is a real reporter, for La Jornada, and here he reports on last week’s presentations to the State Department’s Council of the Americas, by President Bush and his so-called team. Late into his second term, Bush has no better grasp of reality than he did at the beginning. Time to get back to the bunker.

Thanks to reader John B. for sending this piece in for translation.

At the End of his Term, Bush Analyzes and Justifies his Policies Toward Latin America

David Brooks, Correspondent – La Jornada

Translation: Machetera

  • Reforms in Cuba discounted and warnings issued against Venezuela’s dangerous relationships.
  • “We’ve witnessed a social revolution in our hemisphere.” – Condoleezza Rice

WASHINGTON, May 7: Approaching its last months in power, the government of George W. Bush is promoting its last two initiatives in Latin America – the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia and the Mérida Initiative. It argues that the influence of the United States in the region is being tested in its relations with Colombia, discounts the changes in Cuba, warns against Venezuela’s dangerous relationships in the region and reiterates its commitment to “social justice.”

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Uribe’s mafia self-destructs

Álvaro Uribe is Pushed Towards War

Jose Steinsleger – La Jornada

Translation: Machetera

For the remainder of his term, the tenant in the Black House will try to carry out, in any way possible, a pair of bold political moves: the overthrow of the Bolivian President Evo Morales, and the support of the über-narco-paramilitary President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, godfather of all Colombian mafia godfathers.

Apolinar Diaz-Callejas, an eminent international barrister, described the situation of the South American country as something “incredible” and “never before seen.” Not for no reason: 33 official legislators are behind bars, 70 more are under investigation, while their president has “84% popularity,” according to Mitofsky, the gringo polling firm that deserves its name.

We should remember Luis Guillermo Giraldo, the ex-ambassador from Colombia to Mexico, when he took great offense to the statements of this writer that 3/4 of the Congress in his country was composed of deputies and senators linked to drug trafficking and paramilitary cartels (El Correo Ilustrado, July 8, 2006).

As respectful of diplomatic investiture as I am, I thought that perhaps my sources had been manipulated by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and bad vibes. But then I learned that on January 2, 2005, while driving in his car down Insurgentes Avenue, from south to north, Mr. Luis made an illegal left turn and hit a Metrobus.

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