[Justin Delacour, editor of the blog, Latin America News Review, argues that the U.S. press will distort Chavez's recent call for the removal of the Colombian FARC's classification as a "terrorist" group.]
Press' distorting lens on Chavez's statements about FARC
January 12, 2008 - By Justin Delacour, Latin America News Review
It will be interesting to see how the U.S. press will distort Chavez's call for the removal of the Colombian FARC's classification as a "terrorist" group. The New York Daily News gives the following title to an Associated Press report: "Hugo Chavez defends Colombian rebels." But then, when you read the actual report, you find that what Chavez says is no different than what the European Union was saying as late as 2002. Chavez says the FARC are insurgents and should not be classified as a terrorist group. The whole purpose of removing the terrorist classification is to open the road to peace negotiations. Reuters more accurately describes Chavez's statements in its title, "Chavez says no military solution to war in Colombia."
I agree completely with Chavez's assertions, which are not a statement of solidarity with the FARC. Chavez offers a very reasonable assessment of what would need to be done to kickstart any serious negotiations. As AP reported almost five years ago (May 21, 2003), the U.N. special envoy James LeMoyne said much the same thing about the FARC but in more pointed fashion than the Venezuelan president:
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