Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — Regarding the signing of bilateral and definitive ceasefire and end to hostilities agreements, between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the Colombian government, incredibly, some people in that country are against these peace accords.
In a country which has been engulfed in war for over 50 years, which has proven that neither of the two parties would ever win, opposing a return to peace and the chance for all Colombians to reintegrate into civilian life, belongs only to the dim-witted and over the top reactionary minds, who have made war a lifestyle and who benefit from it in some way, without caring about the population’s suffering.
Hundreds of thousands of deaths and disappeared people are spine-chilling figures which call on us to reflect, without even counting the many thousands of families who have had to leave their homes and land because they were living in the middle of a conflict zone and will now be able to return and begin a new life, working the land in peace.
The Colombian people cannot even remember what it was like to live in peace, as those who are up to 52 years old haved lived all their lives in times of war.
In order to understand the importance of both parties agreeing on a path to peace, let’s take a look at what was said after the agreements were signed.
Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s President said:
“Today a new chapter opens, one that brings back hope and allows us to slowly heal our wounds, giving our children the possibility of not reliving the history that has caused our country so much harm. The time has come for us to live without war. The time has come for us to be a peaceful country, a country of hope.
“This is a critical step, a historic moment. However, the end of the conflict isn’t our final destination; the end of this conflict is our starting point so we can build together, united in our differences, a country where everyone has a place.
“Peace is possible, and more certain than ever. Let us build it now.”
Timoleon Jimenez, head of the FARC-EP, said:
“Neither the FARC nor the State have been defeated and therefore what has been agreed cannot be interpreted by anybody as the result of one party imposing themselves on the other. We have debated for a long time, even reaching a stalemate on occasions, which we were only able to overcome thanks to the unbiased and efficient intervention from Cuba and Norway who have mediated the process, and the convenient and wise course of action suggested creatively by spokespeople from both parties or their keen advisers.
“The Agreement outlining security and the battle against paramilitary forces has to become a reality, otherwise it is a process under threat of leading to a final result of historic failure.”
Army General and President Raul Castro, said the following:
“The decision taken by the parties to sign agreements today regarding a ceasefire and a bilateral and definitive end to hostilities, disarmament and security guarantees, represents a critical step forward. There’s no going back on the peace process.
“Peace will be a victory for the people of Colombia; and also for all of Latin America. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations (CELAC) has, in its short history, established a great landmark of proclaiming this region a Peace Zone. The end of the armed conflict in Colombia will be new proof of our people’s strong commitment against the use and the threat of using force and in favor of a peaceful solution in the face of controversy. To solve our differences, dialogue. To overcome challenges, negotiation.
“The Cuban government and people’s commitment with Colombia’s peace process has been and will always remain firm, standing by Jose Marti’s legacy of “Homeland is Humanity.”
Many Heads of State and high-ranking UN officials, including secretary general Ban Ki-moon, attended the ceremony where the agreements were signed and highlighted and praised the role Cuba played as a mediating party and as host for the peace talks. Furthermore, many global leaders have also spoken out in the same vein.
If you take into account all of these factors, let’s reflect: Who could be against peace in Colombia?