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Senator Marco Rubio: US Aid for Colombia Peace Deal Shouldn’t Finance FARC Guerrilla, Promote Impunity

By: Felipe Fernández - @Ffernandezp - May 19, 2017, 4:58 pm
US Aid for Colombia Peace Deal Shouldn't Finance FARC Guerrilla
In an op-ed published in The Miami Herald, the senator said bilateral relations with the United States and Colombia has become one of the most important in the western hemisphere. (Youtube)

EspañolFlorida Senator Marc Rubio expressed his concern over the Santos-FARC peace deal this week following Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos’ visit with US President Donald Trump.

In an op-ed published in The Miami Herald, the senator said bilateral relations with the United States and Colombia has become one of the most important in the western hemisphere. He described the situation in Colombia in the 1990s and US support for returning the rule of law there.

“In the late 1990s, Colombia was nearly a failed state, devastated by conflicts with drug cartels and terrorist groups like the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). But U.S.-Colombian cooperation over the past 16 years empowered the nation to diminish the threat of narcoterrorism and drug-related violence, restore the rule of law, and revive its economy.”

He said Colombia should continue with “Plan Colombia,” which includes a coalition against terrorism and narcotics that should help ensure stability in the country.

He acknowledged Colombia’s effort to achieve peace, but expressed his concern about the deficiencies of the Santos-FARC peace agreement.

“I am concerned about shortcomings in the deal, which could allow FARC guerrillas to escape justice, and grant amnesty to those responsible for war crimes,” he said.

In addition, he said he objects to the fact that the peace deal was rejected by Colombians in a referendum, yet was pushed anyway with legislation.

“The wisdom of the peace accord is up to the Colombian people, who can hold their democratically elected leaders accountable at the ballot box next year,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, the FARC must be held accountable for their history of violence and oppression.

The Republican senator said the “Peace Colombia” plan must be subject to certain conditions.

“American taxpayer dollars should never be used to compensate the FARC,” he wrote.

He also expressed his belief that FARC commander Simon Trinidad must serve a full sentence in a federal prison, and that convicted FARC members should also be held accountable for their crimes.

“For any peace accord to endure, it must be supported by a majority of the Colombian people and bring genuine justice to the victims of the countless atrocities committed by the FARC.”

He concluded by expressing his belief that peace in Colombia requires a commitment from the United States.

Source: Miami Herald

Felipe Fernández Felipe Fernández

Felipe Fernández is a reporter from Colombia for the PanAm Post. He's a law student at the La Gran Colombia University in Armenia. Follow him on Twitter: @Ffernandezp

Venezuelan Bishops Denounce Attempt to Rewrite Constitution, Meet with Maduro

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - May 19, 2017, 4:55 pm
The Catholic Church in Venezuela has taken aim at Maduro's plan to rewrite the Constitution (

Español After a meeting between the Nicolas Maduro regime and the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV), the representation of the Catholic Church rejected the proposal of a constitutional assembly to rewrite the nation's Constitution. Monsignor Diego Padrón, CEV's top representative, held a meeting with Elías Jaua, who heads the Presidential Commission of the "Communal Constituent Assembly." In that meeting, Padrón assured that Venezuela does not need a new Constitution, but "food and medicine." Read More: Flour Shortages Hit Venezuelan Churches as Priests Are Left without the Host for the Eucharist Read More: Vatican Backs Venezuelan Catholic Church's Resistance to Maduro Regime "It does not take a Constituent Assembly to reform the Constitution. The Constituent Assembly is not what the people need, what the people demand is food, medicine, and security," he asserted. Padrón also said that the Venezuelan Constitution does not need reform, what is needed is compliance with the document. He added that the South American country is also in urgent need of holding elections. The Catholic Church representative also pointed out that the peaceful protests that are taking place in Venezuela should not be "seen as a criminal act." He repudiated the deaths and wounded victims left in the wake of the repression of the regime of Nicolas Maduro. He also called for Venezuelans to stay on the streets to work towards achieving "radical changes." "Protests and marches are democratic exercises that must be respected and guaranteed by the government [...] so that radical changes can take place, we must maintain a permanent resistance; we can not weaken in our resolve." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Padrón also called upon the Venezuelan regime to allow the humanitarian assistance of Caritas as well as to allow them to visit political prisoners. "I would like to talk to the government about the possibility of bringing Caritas to Venezuela in order to bring our people medicine and food...We ask that we be authorized to visit political prisoners because they need human comfort," he said. Sources: 2001, Caraota Digital

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