For Colombia, last week supposed to be the week of peace. It was anything but. Five Colombian soliders were killed by the FARC terrorist group, just a few days after peace talks were launched in Oslo. The FARC have no interest in peace. If it did, it would lay down arms and agree to a ceasefire.
What has always struck me as odd about this entire process was not events in Colombia, rather events in Havana. There are many Cuba-watchers in this town who believe, I among them, that this farcical offer by Cuba to mediate talks between the FARC and Colombia is a rouse. For what? Cuba’s own terrorist problems.
Cuba has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism since the Reagan Administration. The regime has always resented the designation and has been lobbying to come off that list ever since. One of the primary, but not sole reasons for Cuba’s inclusion on the state sponsors list is the regime’s support of the FARC. If the FARC and Colombia make “peace” with Cuba’s help, Cuban leaders may think, will buy the regime a few brownie points with the people at Foggy Bottom.
Five Colombian soliders are dead now, a clear message to the Colombian people that the FARC is not interested in peace. Colombian President Santos should listen to former President Alvaro Uribe and abandon any discussions until the FARC lay down all arms and agree to a ceasefire. What is truly off putting is why these talks started to being with; anything that Cuba is involved with is surely trouble. Colombian President Santos should know better. Is this how an ally works with an partner that recently extended a free trade agreement?
As for Cuba’s end game, even if the FARC were to come off the FTO list, it is not enough for Cuba to earn removal from the state sponsors of terror list.