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There is a true gag law applied by the media in an increasingly accentuated way to the majority of workers', popular and true opposition organizations. They ignore the marches and protests for May 1 or against the Free Trade Agreement, they exclude everything related to the Great Coalition and the assassinations of union and popular leaders.
In Colombia it is difficult to speak out loud about what is happening in the country. You can't even talk on the phone and there are fewer and fewer spaces where you can discern. Only in the news or the radio or the written press is it allowed to talk about trivia.
There is a true gag law applied by the media in an increasingly accentuated way to the majority of workers', popular and true opposition organizations. They ignore the marches and protests for May 1 or against the Free Trade Agreement, they exclude everything related to the Great Coalition and the murders of union and popular leaders.
They say nothing about the lists and brochures that circulate through all the cities and towns of Colombia where they write the names of the people who are going to kill and who actually kill in events that remain in the most absolute impunity. In all the marches for peace and against the war, in solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for the defense of the Public University and against the closure of hospitals, state agencies and civilians who respond to them mix with the protesters to provoke and produce excesses as happened with the death of a young protester on May 1 in the capital of the Republic, Bogota.
There is great diffusion and great freedom for those who promote the new party armed by Uribe or the armed party of Uribe, for those who continue to praise the Washington Consensus, neoliberal globalization, NAFTA and join in with Bush, Condolezza Ricce, Noriega, Pastrana and Aznar (read El Heraldo editorial of 5-5-2005) on the 100,000 rifles that the autonomous and sovereign government of Chávez assigned to his Armed Forces. The increasingly outdated columns of Montaner and other right-wing editorialists prevent the objective and impartial reader from having access to a free and independent press.
In Barranquilla a flyer signed by the M.A.S. Death to Trade Unionists whom he accuses of being corrupt. It seems at first glance that trade unionists are to blame for the political-economic and moral crisis that our country is experiencing. If they are really pointing out corruption at trade unionists because they deliberately omit the politicians and business union leaders who have made tremendous embezzlements that the country and public opinion are aware of and that the media hide and protect.
They are threatening those who are in solidarity with Cuba and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, those who protest the invasion of Iraq or defend the cause of Palestine and all the peoples who are fighting for their liberation and self-determination.
Our president, Mr. Uribe, had the privileged freedom of being the only South American president who, without consulting the people, decided to support the US invasion of Iraq, knowing in advance that it did not have the endorsement of the United Nations and that it was based on the lie and the imperial appetites for oil. Mr. Uribe would feel very happy if we defended, as did Menem, the neoliberal model that he is applying today with blood and fire and that demonstrated its historical failure in Argentina and is causing havoc in our country every day where unemployment increases, closing of companies, the increase of public services and of food and medicine all ivatized. The privatizations of the companies that were the patrimony of the State and the Colombian people, their assets and their sales infrastructure are sold at ridiculous prices with the complicity of the vast majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives and all the business associations who qualify themselves of "civil society" and are accomplices of those negotiations behind the back of public opinion. The man with a big heart with the enemies of the peoples and a hard heart against the Colombian people, with their workers in the fields and the city, with their peasants and indigenous people, is a meek dove allowing the violation of our sovereignty by the North American Army , paying the unpayable foreign debt as ordered by the IMF and the World Bank but it becomes a snake attacking the rights of the peoples to public freedoms, the sacred right to life and respect for the achievements of the people in their social conquests.
SOMETHING SERIOUS IS HAPPENING IN COLOMBIA. It seems that the Empire has grabbed Mr. Uribe by his testicles so that he meekly says yes Sir to everything. It is said that the Americans already have four military bases in the country, the last one in Tumaco if I remember correctly. Hundreds of American soldiers, officers and contractors are like Pancho around his house, consuming and taking drug shipments to his country and selling ammunition to his friends the paramilitaries.
The Colombian State can do nothing in this regard because it has signed an impunity treaty with the gringos to prevent them from being tried for their excesses in Colombian territory. However, our Colombian compatriots are extradited to the United States where all their rights are violated. There is talk of freedom and there are fewer and fewer spaces to be able to debate as civilized beings. From Railito, murders and massacres are committed that violate all human rights and yet, despite tepid statements, they seem to have the support of Washington and the OAS.
Mr. Mancuso publicly declared that in the Congress of the Republic of Colombia 35 percent of it corresponded to paramilitaries. If this is the case, what may be forging in Railito is the creation of a fascist party in which the paramilitaries with weapons in hand would guarantee the "democratic vote" in their areas of influence to re-elect Mr. Uribe. There are some analysts who point out that the United States would not allow such an outburst. I wonder, what doubt we can have of a country that supported the Taliban and Bin Laden in the fight against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan or Hussein in the war against Iraq or Noriega in Panama to give a closer example and that later who served the designs of the CIA and the Pentagon were considered enemies of the United States. It cannot be strange to think that Mr. Bush and Mr. Uribe, warlords and enemies of dialogue and peace, have secretly agreed on the Railito space for the formation of a strike force that aims first place towards destabilizing the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Are the more than 100 paramilitaries arrested near Caracas to attack President Chávez a "Venezuelan story"?
Would it be unreasonable to think that Bush needs a reelected Uribe for him to fulfill the role of Sharon in the Middle East not only against the Bolivarian Revolution, but against all the countries of the Latin American and Caribbean continent and against his own people?
It is true. It is difficult to predict the future. But I think that the eyes, the ears, the senses of the world should look more at Colombia and be more aware of what is happening within its territory.
The Colombian problem is no longer just a problem for the people of Colombia. It is a problem for all governments and all peoples who want peace and life throughout the Continent.
We know that the fight is difficult and unequal in cities and towns. The social fighters are not armed and are mobile targets of the paramilitary hit men or state terrorism. Colombia today has more than 3,000,000 people displaced by violence who roam the cities and towns of the country without any official or private help. Behind the displacements is undoubtedly the problem of land tenure, which was taken by force from the peasants and indigenous people to favor the multinationals and the national oligarchy.
We have ahead of us a peaceful and democratic option that we must take with great tenacity, leaving behind the vices of sectarianism that the enemy introduced to the workers and popular movement to divide and defeat it ... Uribe has already been defeated in the referendum and in the main cities and governorates from the country. We can defeat them again if the opposition through the Great Democratic Coalition unites in a single bloc, in a true popular unity against reelection and with the first immediate objective of restoring true participatory democracy in our country.
What the Uribe government offers us is the peace of the tombs. Behind him is the Empire and the paramilitaries that will be used and then delegitimize them as happened in other places. Nor can the most murderous and recalcitrant oligarchy on the Continent be absent.
Next to us is truth and life, the correctness of our ideas and our intentions.
Today I am speaking out loud. I think of my family and my companions of dreams and hopes that many times tell me that here you cannot be a front man.
But in the face of this drama that looms over the future of our country, will we all remain silent as if nothing was happening? And how will the world know what is being forged here not only against other brotherly peoples but also against the Colombian people themselves?
Could it be that the only way out is silence and entering an inconvenient recess that allows the free action of the reaction that wants to see us plunged into anonymity?
I love life and the permanent struggle for peace, social justice, solidarity and understanding among all men and peoples of good will.
The latter that I am expressing and which is normal in the vast majority of countries in the world, in Colombia it is not. Here fighting for peace or humanitarian exchange, admiring the Bolivarian process of Chávez or the Socialist Revolution in Cuba is considered by social misfits, illiterate people of all kinds of coexistence, as terrorists who must be physically eliminated.
Silence and quietism only serve the interests of the reaction. We must show our creativity and promote the unity and mobilization of our people to destroy all the plans that the Empire has against our people and all the peoples of the Continent.
We will never be oblivious to our historical responsibility. A new Dawn blooms on the horizon of the Great Homeland. There are those who gave us our first Independence. We will never be alone. Their examples and their struggles will lead us to triumph like yesterday.
As Apuleyo said:
"One by one, we are all mortal. Together we are eternal."
Here are these ideas put in a bottle and thrown into the sea for someone to read and spread it to the world as in ancient times. We are not shipwrecked.
We are human beings who love peace, solidarity and social justice who inhabit a country located in the extreme north of South American territory, called Colombia. Do not forget what is happening in that country against those who dare to think differently and against the peoples and governments who dare to think differently.