NACLA and Colombia

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Sun Dec 10 08:01:49 MST 2000

[bounced from Richard N Hutchinson <rhutchin at U.Arizona.EDU>]

Two brief points vis a vis Colombia:

1) The FARC, it seems to me, lacks any clear liberatory agenda.  I have
never seen any evidence of radical social transformation in its zones of
control.  Of course in some sense it represents a popular alternative to
the oligarchical regime, but not one with an inspiring vision of change.
As in Nicaragua or El Salvador, its leadership (as opposed to its
base) seems to be a group which, if incorporated into the system, would
create a more truly representative elite democracy, a la the U.S. and
other such examples (polyarchy, in Dahl's terms).

2) The NYT yesterday had a long article about the rise of the right-wing
paramilitaries in Colombia.  How much support those groups may be
receiving covertly from the U.S. I don't know, but they seem to be
increasingly effective, and I seriously doubt that the U.S. aid package
for helicopters and so forth will lead to anything resembling
Vietnam.  U.S. military support for the regime should be opposed, but
don't expect anything like Central American in the 80s either in terms of
U.S. strategic priority, or the potential for an opposition movement in
the U.S.


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