I have always respected, admired, and expressed gratitude for the United States. However, Mr. Bernie Aronson's involvement in the peace talks held in Havana forces me to make the following comments:
Mr. Aronson has privately repeated that Colombians must make their decision. Nevertheless, he is inviting people to vote in favor of the plebiscite in the press.
Mr. Aronson is not aware of the tricks of the plebiscite:
- The poll threshold was lowered from 50% to 13%.
- Only one question is allowed despite that there are many different topics such as the support for peace that many people would approve while rejecting total impunity.
- The incumbent Government threatens the public by saying that the war would continue if the plebiscite is not passed and points the finger at those who may vote against or refrain from voting, by accusing them of being war-friendly.
- Publicly-funded advertising in order to invite people to vote against or refrain from voting the plebiscite was not allowed, but the Government is using all its power and State funds in advertising to invite people to vote for the plebiscite.
- Colombian local and regional authorities see how national funds are allocated on condition that they support the plebiscite.
- The Government is openly and subtly pushing the Colombian Armed Forces to encourage people to vote for the plebiscite notwithstanding the rule under democracy excluding them from expressing any political views.
Mr. Aronson has repeated that Simón Trinidad, who was extradited by our administration, shall serve, in the United States, his jail sentence for kidnapping and drug trafficking. However, Mr. Aronson is favoring total impunity, full jail exemption, and eligibility for politics for Farc ringleaders involved in the same crimes.
In order for them to be exempted from jail, they just need to admit atrocious crimes such as kidnapping and rape of girls. And those perpetrators favored with jail exemption say they do not have anything to regret.
What would Mr. Aronson think upon realizing that no democracy, either American, French, Belgian, English, or Spanish, accepts such an indulgence for terrorists? However, Colombia is being put in serious risk and inevitably led to fall into the trap of the terrorists' agenda! He always replies by the excuse that there is no choice despite that choices exist and have been wasted away.
Mr. Aronson is forgetting that Farc is the world's biggest cocaine cartel, which is now “rewarded” by the current Colombian Government by considering drug trafficking a political offense exempting offenders from jail and extradition and providing them with eligibility for politics. He is forgetting that Farc is one of the world's richest terrorist groups, which is not even being demanded one cent in order to reparate the victims. Farc, by means of its money, is able to replace any amount of weapons it decommissions.
What can be now said to the United States, a country that contributed with more than USD$10 billion for the Plan Colombia, if the amount of coca crops is now equal to or greater than that in 2000, despite that we had reduced figures from 170,000 to 47,000 hectares (420,079 to 116,139 acres)?
Nonetheless, I do know what to think about it because I signed almost 1,200 extradition orders. Therefore, I wonder:
What are or have been Mr. Aronson's trade-related intentions in companies that have been both/either licensees making use of Colombian natural resources in areas that are under control by Farc again and/or linked up with the coffee industry and business partners close to the President of Colombia?
Many thought – and Venezuela is the most recent example – that, in order to protect their economic interests, they had to make it easy for neo-communist tyrannies to rise, sacrificing democracy, economic liberties, and recognition of the poor's rights.
Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Spain, July 05, 2016.