COLOMBIA: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP): 48 Years of Struggle

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) commemorated its 48th anniversary on May 27.

The event was celebrated in the jungles and mountains of the country by the thousands of fighters who are fighting for an independent, democratic and progressive Colombia.

There is no precedent in the history of Latin America involving a comparable revolutionary saga. Founded nearly half a century ago, the FARC-EP’s guerrillas have been fighting against the most powerful army of South America, made up of 300,000 soldiers armed and financed by U.S. imperialism.

Bowing to pressure from Washington, the United Nations and the European Union placed the FARC-EP on the list of terrorist organizations and offered rewards of millions of dollars for the capture or murder of members of the FARC-EP’s leadership.

The Pentagon and CIA mounted a global campaign to stick on the FARC-EP the infamous label of “narco-guerrillas.” Successive governments in Bogotá announced over the years the FARC’s imminent end. But no speech or defamation by the presidents and generals serving the oligarchy can hide the obvious: the FARC-EP, which is a Marxist-Leninist guerrilla army and political party, continues the struggle on multiple fronts toward the eventual conquest of power, and every month the news releases of the Secretariat publicize combat actions that have caused casualties within the Colombian army.

The current Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, while speaking with a milder tone, has fundamentally been continuing the neofascist politics of former President Álvaro Uribe. Santos’ “Security” strategy continues a policy of repression and terror; the “Prosperity for All” Plan slogan is an example of sick humor, as it describes a program forged to increase social inequality by favoring the ruling class. Colombia’s adherence to the Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. helps to reinforce the country’s semicolonial status.

Eight new U.S. military bases were established in the country that is second to Israel, the ally that receives the most financial “aid” from Washington. Not surprisingly, the major U.S. media today define Colombia as a “model democracy,” attractive to investors, and identify it as an example Latin America should follow.

President Barack Obama once again at the Cartagena Summit praised Juan Manuel Santos for his “pacification policy” and for “opening a dialogue.” He knows he’s lying. The crackdown against the participants in the March for Peace, which was attended by 100,000 people from all over the country — exposed the regime’s policy of force and violence.

Deindustrialization progresses, poverty increases, the drug cartels operate with impunity, in alliance with the paramilitaries and senior members of the Armed Forces.

As expected, the image that the Portuguese government spokespeople transmit about Colombia is that of a “model democracy,” the great ally of the U.S. in Latin America. In mid-June, the prime minister will visit Bogotá accompanied by a delegation of entrepreneurs with hopes of doing big business.

Portuguese Prime Minister Passos Coelho and Juan Manuel Santos will certainly understand each other wonderfully; they speak the same political language and have the same contempt for the people. They are fruits of the same tree.

The Colombia I respect and admire is a different one, incompatible with that of the financial oligarchy and the landowners, funded and colonized by imperialism.

My Colombia is the dream of Bolívar, the one whose children fought in Boyacá and Ayacucho for freedom and independence, the Colombia I came to know and love in fellowship with the guerrillas of the FARC-EP, in a camp with Raúl Reyes, located in the jungles of Caquetá.

I wrote earlier that it was my privilege to have known revolutionaries with the temper of the commanders Manuel Marulanda, Raúl Reyes (murdered in Ecuador in a pirate operation, with the complicity of the Pentagon, the CIA and the Mossad), Alfonso Cano, Jorge Briceño (killed in criminal bombing raids) and Simón Trinidad (abducted in Quito and extradited to the U.S.)

On the 48th anniversary of the FARC-EP, communists like them inspire admiration within my very being. They embody the courage, the hope, the tenacity and the fighting spirit of the peoples of Latin America, oppressed and once humiliated by U.S. imperialism, which is today the great enemy of humanity.

Miguel Urbano is a distinguished Portuguese author, journalist and politician, former editor of the weekly Avante, former member of the European Parliament and co-founder of the Web magazine

English translation: John Catalinotto

The Portuguese original of this article at

The Spanish translation at

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