Tag: Colombia

James Carville’s shameful hypocrisy on the oil spill, and his ties to South America

James Carville has been all over the news lashing out at Obama for not being strong enough in his response to the BP oil disaster.  And with the news that the oil geyser will continue spewing its stuff until August, I don’t blame the man.  He is, after all, from Louisiana.

But for some reason I’m not convinced he’s being completely sincere.  In fact, Colombia held a presidential election yesterday and (this may seem somewhat bizarre if you don’t know much about him) Carville actually helped the establishment candidate who wants to encourage “foreign investment,” at a time when BP is considering offshore drilling in Colombia’s waters.

A political guru, frequent CNN pundit and a personality who was featured in the well known documentary The War Room, Carville moves in powerful circles in the U.S.  What’s less commonly known, however, is that Carville is also a virtual kingmaker in Latin America — indeed, his professional contacts have ranged from Mexico’s Ernesto Zedillo to Brazil’s Fernando Enrique Cardoso to many others.

Crossposted at DKos and other blogs

Santa Marta Gold (My Story – Part V)

Note: These are exciting times.  Daniel and I voted on Friday.  It was a thrill watching him cast his first vote under such historic circumstances.  It took 3.5 grueling hours but was so worth it.  What a great feeling.  Change is coming.

This has nothing to do with the election.  Please pardon the diversion, but if you could use one…

This is the latest installment in an autobiographical series I’ve been working on.  This episode takes place in Colombia.


New Repression in Colombia

Via an e-mail alert from Frank Lewellyn of Democratic Socialists of America:

Love and Death in Colombia (My Story – Part IV)

Note:  I know, I know.  I haven’t published Part III yet and here comes Part IV.  Well what can I say?  I have an unruly mind and it won’t always go where I tell it to – sometimes it just goes where it will.  In this case it skipped straight to Part IV.  I’ll go back and do Part III later.  Probably.

“The mind is a monkey.” ~ Old Chinese saying


BREAKING: Ingrid Betancourt Rescued! (Updated x 2)

BBC is now reporting:

The Colombian authorities say they have rescued Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans held by rebels in Colombia.

Ms Betancourt, a French-Colombian politician, has been held for more than six years by the rebel Farc group and is said to be in very poor health.

She is the group’s highest-profile hostage and the French government has made securing her release a priority.

The Farc group has been fighting to overthrow the Colombian government for more than 40 years.

The Colombian military said some 15 hostages had been rescued in total on Wednesday, among them 11 Colombian soldiers.

Please join me in Colombia.

EENR for Progress: The International Criminal Court and Human Survival

Cross-posted from EENR Blog

The Kyoto Treaty is not the only treating affecting human survival that Bush prefers let languish without the participation of the United States.  He also unsigned us from the Rome Treaty that established the International Criminal Court.





The States Parties to this Statute,

Conscious that all peoples are united by common bonds, their cultures pieced together in a

shared heritage, and concerned that this delicate mosaic may be shattered at any time,

Mindful that during this century millions of children, women and men have been victims of

unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity,

Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world,

Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole

must not go unpunished and that their effective prosecution must be ensured by taking measures at

the national level and by enhancing international cooperation,

Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to

contribute to the prevention of such crimes,

. . .


FARC Says No To Betancourt, France To Go Home

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

According to Bloomberg, FARC has now said that it will not allow France’s medical mission to treat its most famous hostage, Ingrid Betancourt, whom it has held hostage for more than six years:

Colombia’s biggest rebel group refused to allow a French-led medical mission to help former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt, a dual citizen held captive more than six years.

“The French medical mission isn’t appropriate and much less so when it’s not the result of an agreement,” the leadership of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said in the statement posted today on the Web site of Venezuela’s Agencia Bolivariana de Prensa.

The FARC said the French made no contact with them to negotiate sending doctors to help Betancourt, a French-Colombian citizen who is suffering from hepatitis B, and reiterated its demand that the government pull troops from two towns in western Colombia to swap about 40 high-profile captives, including Betancourt, for 500 jailed guerrillas. The French mission will leave Colombia, Efe cited the French foreign ministry as saying.

“If President Uribe had withdrawn troops from Pradera and Florida for 45 days at the beginning of the year, Ingrid Betancourt, military officials and jailed guerrillas would have been freed,” the FARC statement said.

The FARC statement is here (Bloomberg’s link is wrong).  And, obviously, freeing Betancourt and other hostages is something FARC also rejects.

Pardon me.  This is barbarian.  FARC has not given an adequate, humanitarian answer to concerns about Betancourt and its other hostages.  Its denial of access shows that it persists in using civilian hostages in its attempts to further its political goals.  That is disgraceful.  It is simply a human rights violation.

Betancourt, and the hundreds of other, less well known hostages should be released. They should not be permitted to continue to be pawns in FARC’s four decade long struggle with corrupt Colombian governments.  Yes, the Colombian governments are awful.  Yes, they are the US puppets in the region.  But, FARC’s refusal to permit the medical mission to reach Betancourt is unexcusable.  

And what, you might wonder, is anyone in the US or Europe or anywhere else going to do about this?  Answer: nothing.   To the contrary, the US is going to reward Colombia. The US is going to give Colombia a free trade agreement even though it kills unionists, even though its paramilitaries participate in the cocaine industry, even though it has ceded huge amounts of land to FARC, even though it receives billions of dollars in “insurgency” aid, even though its “drug war” has impoverished peasants, even though it is powerless to control its own territory.  And the EU?  Nothing.  And France?  Its mission is finished:

“Keeping the medical mission in place is no longer justifiable,” the French said in a statement released by the ministry, according to Efe.

This is simply disgraceful.

La Cumbia de la Doctrina Bush w/poll

Original article, subtitled Colombia Kills Four Mexican Students in Ecuador Bombing, by John Ross via Counterpunch.com.

As we find out more about the bombing of the FARC base in Ecuador, it becomes clear that we weren’t being told the whole truth about the situation.  Surprised, aren’t you?

News Of A Kidnapping

cross posted from The Dream Antilles


Ingrid Betancourt In Captivity (11/30/07)

Ingrid Betancourt, while campaigning for the presidency of Colombia, was kidnapped by FARC on February 23, 2002.  More than six years later, she remains a hostage somewhere in Colombia.  She suffers from hepatitis B and leishmaniasis, a skin disease caused by insect bites.  She is also rumored to be losing the will to live. She is the public face of kidnapping in Colombia.  She is the most famous of hundreds of hostages.  Unlike most of the hostages, she has ties outside the country.

Please join me in the selva.