Colombia and Venezuela — Two brotherly peoples

The following is a statement of the Peace Delegation of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) from Havana, Cuba, site of the peace talks, dated Aug. 28, discussing the crisis between Colombia and Venezuela:

It is essential for Colombia to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries if we want to build a stable and lasting peace that radiates brotherhood to the continent.

Venezuela is and will remain essential for peace in Colombia. We have to extinguish this chauvinist fire, in order to promote unity and integration of two nations with a common history, daughters of the same father, the Liberator Simón Bolívar.

It is best to seek, through constructive and sincere dialogue, the normalization of the situation on the border, hopefully with the creation of a binational zone of integration and development in which fraternity, coexistence and the construction of one great nation will be encouraged.

The sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela must be respected; the perfidy of moving paramilitarism, that has caused so many victimizations in Colombia, to another place, should be ceased.

As sister nations we need to be united for peace to prevail. Therefore, we should close spaces to the tension of warmongering spirits and make the rights of peoples prevail above all those who want to destabilize the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro through economic war and all kinds of conspiracies, and overturn the undeniable solidarity and social support — since Comandante Hugo Chávez was in power — received by those who had to leave for exile because in this country there was no inclusion and respect, something we are still demanding.

We understand clearly that the confrontation in Colombia, as well as the serious humanitarian crisis that goes beyond our borders today, are rooted in the unjust social order we experience, and for which the successive governments that have passed through the Casa de Nariño [official home of the Colombian president] should be held accountable. We cannot close our eyes to that, and we believe that serenity and common sense should emerge, in order to not give way to certain irresponsible politicians who only want to sow hatred towards Venezuela, fish in troubled waters and favor their personal interests.

The cancer of paramilitarism cannot destroy the bonds of harmony that historically, since the struggle for independence, have made Colombia and Venezuela one family with a common destiny: a dream of dignity and freedom, enrolled in the sublime cause of Our America.

“We are children of the country left by the Liberator and we will defend it with love, his legacy calls upon us.” May the Catatumbo lightning [a unique atmospheric phenomenon in Venezuela] enlighten us. We are optimistic: like in Ali Primera’s song, “The Orinoco and Magdalena [principal rivers of Venezuela and Colombia] embrace each other with songs of the jungle, and your children and my children will smile at peace.” May our friendship last forever.