Chavez Brokers Deal For Hostages

From the Christian Science Monitor, two higher priority hostages have been released, and others may be forthcoming. The article doesn’t say what Chavez offered to secure their release.

Interesting. Show of hands–who here thinks Chavez promised FARC something juicy (hmm…what could a militant group want?) in return for making him look like a hero and undermining Colombia’s current administration?

Uribe had little choice but to allow the fiery leftist leader – who’s called him a “puppet” and “lapdog” of Washington – to organize a new mission, but demanded it be done discreetly and “with respect for the Colombian government.”

The Missus is Colombian, but has lived in the U.S. since she was a child and has limited knowledge about what goes on there. We’re encouraging her dad to start blogging, mostly as a way to get him to document all the great stories he has about growing up in the middle of the jungle in Colombia and the vast knowledge he has of the history and culture. We had a very short discussion over Christmas about this very situation. He has a lot of insight, and I wish we could have talked about it a little more or I’d have had a little less to drink :). No worries though, I’ve already sent an email asking for his comments, and with his permission I’ll post his response.

But at the same time, according to observers, Colombia could see an increase in FARC attacks throughout the country. “They will try to demonstrate that despite the setback and despite their willingness to release hostages, they are still powerful,” says Mr. Bagley.

It’s really too bad that most of what we hear about Colombia in the U.S. leads to the conclusion that there are kidnappers on every corner and snipers on every roof waiting to pick off any gringo that may stumble by. I’ve only visited once, but everyone I encountered was extremely friendly and anxious to dispell that myth. There was never a time when I didn’t feel completely safe. Admittedly, I was in a city the whole time. The mountains and jungles are more treacherous, even for Colombians. That’s unfortunate as well, because from everything I’ve seen in photos and heard from people who have been, these areas are absolutely beautiful.

***UPDATE–Here’s the response my father-in-law sent on how he surmises the situation

The situation that has presented to the world through the media is real, however the conclusions drawn from this is completely unreal.
Since the previous liberation attempt was a complete disaster to Chavez they had to come through with something to save face, especially when the FARC admitted that the Colombian President was stating the truth about the child, while at the same time Chavez was blaming the Colombians for the intermission in the liberation process . All the political representatives had egg on their face with this backfire to Chavez .

1. Fact : The leftist guerrillas are under direct control of foreign governments, Cuba.
2. Fact : Chavez is the apparent heir of Fidel.
3. Fact : This was a complete publicity stunt in favor of the guerrillas with the leftist figures to give it a political backing to the guerrillas showing a human side which they do not have.
4. Fact : The Colombian government was pressured into this farce by the French and European community which are looking to obtain the freedom of Ingrid Betancourt, freedom that will not happen for now. She is a big ace that the guerrillas hold for their advantage. She might be used in the next publicity stunt concocted in Cuba to further the Chavez agenda in Latin America.
5. Fact : This was a complete washing of Chavez ‘s face by the guerrillas through the orders of the puppet master ” Fidel Castro”

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Comments

I would love to visit Columbia and its neighbors. There are plenty of dangerous places in this country, too, like the intersection outside of my campground with all of the senile drivers flying by in their caddies.

HM,
Cartagena, which is her hometown, is becoming a more popular stop for cruise ships. I’d definitely recommend visiting. It’s really beautiful and loaded with history–pirates, Spanish Inquisition, and huge fortress walls surrounding the older part of the city.

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