Three years after Colombia’s successful raid of a terrorist camp in Ecuador, a European think tank has announced that it will release a report of the contents of a computer seized during the operation that belonged to a FARC commander, Raul Reyes. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies announcement the publication:

“provides unique insights into a major insurgent organisation almost up to the present day and hence fills an important gap in understanding the history of the Andean region. The dossier explores the nature of FARC’s activities in relation to Venezuela and Ecuador and their implications for regional and international security. All of the relevant archival material, totalling approximately 1.6 million words, will also be published on an accompanying CD.”

Maybe the document, “The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of Raúl Reyes,” will shed some light on why Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez has been playing nice with Colombia in recent months.

The most recent expression of cross-border affection took place earlier this week when Colombian President Juan Santos thanked Hugo Chavez and Ecuador strongman Rafael Correa  for the arrest of a former FARC leader and journalist.

Ecuador strongman Rafael Correa (left) and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

The governments of Ecuador and Venezuela are anathema to freedom and rule of law.  Virulently anti-American, and anti-Colombian, they are going to continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future. Factor in ALBA politics, and the diplomatic relations of these countries, and you see why.

Playing nice with Chavez, Correa, Ortega, Castro, and many other regional leaders, over the long run, bolsters their position and gives them credibility and acceptance they do not deserve. One thing is pragmatic realism, it is quite another what Santos, and some in the Obama Administration, have been doing.

A supposed staunch U.S. ally, Colombia is in a tough spot. But coddling dictators and strongmen who aid and support terrorists, in the long-run, is a bad policy. It’s a big gamble for Colombia and, to the extent we have been encouraging it, a risk for the U.S. and long-term regional security.

Maybe this soon to be release FARC computer files report will shed some logic on this process.

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