[News] Colombia’s Uribe takes dictation one last time

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 27 10:32:01 EDT 2010

Colombia’s Uribe takes dictation one last time

July 26, 2010


Colombia: Uribe’s Farewell Spectacle - 

Atilio A. Boron

Translation: Machetera and Manuel Talens

Álvaro Uribe, the empire’s unconditional pawn, 
took his leave from the Colombian presidency with 
a new provocation: the denunciation of FARC camps 
which he claimed to be established on Venezuelan 
territory.  Being neither dimwitted nor lazy, the 
U.S. State Department came out in unconditional 
support of the accusation put forth by Bogotá at 
the Organization of American States (OAS), 
encouraged by the supposed “resounding” proof 
presented by Uribe, denouncing the government of 
Hugo Chávez for allowing the FARC camps to be set 
up and for carrying out various military training 
programs for some 1,500 guerrillas on Venezuelan 
soil.  With amazing insolence, Philip Crowley, 
the State Department spokesperson declared that 
Venezuela’s response [in terminating diplomatic 
relations with Colombia] was “unfortunate” and 
“petulant” and threatened that “if Venezuela 
fails to cooperate in whatever follow-on steps 
are made, the United States and other countries 
will obviously take account of that.”  It must be 
remembered that since 2006, the United States has 
included Venezuela in the list of countries that 
are unwilling to cooperate in the struggle 
against terrorism.  Assistant U.S. Secretary of 
State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo 
Valenzuela issued a declaration along the same 
lines, saying that Uribe’s denunciation was “very 
serious.”  Both statements cast a heavy shadow of 
doubt about the intellectual capabilities of both 
officials and, what’s worse, feed the suspicion 
that with their fondness for lies, the moral 
caliber of both is not all that different from that of Álvaro Uribe.

It’s obvious that for imperial administrators, 
they will try to make anything that is convenient 
to their interests appear before public opinion 
as something “serious and overwhelming.”  And 
these were the interests that moved the White 
House to ask for one last “proof of love” from 
the Colombian leader just a few days before leaving his presidency.

As is commonly known, the file that the DEA, the 
CIA and the FBI have been building on Uribe for 
his intimate and prolonged links with the drug 
cartels keeps the Colombian leader from 
disobeying any kind of order coming from 
Washington, for fear of meeting the same fate as 
the former Panamanian president Manuel A. 
Noriega, and ending his days in a maximum 
security cell in the United States. 

The absurd claim from Uribe, an inveterate liar, 
comes like manna from heaven in Washington’s push 
to destabilize the Chávez government before the 
crucial Venezuelan elections scheduled for 
September 26th and at the same time, it 
legitimizes the impressive program of U.S. 
militarization that is being imposed on Latin 
America; one of whose leading examples has been 
the signed Obama-Uribe treaty through which 
Colombia is ceding at least seven military bases 
for the use of U.S. armed forces.  This is why 
those in the U.S. government pretend to consider 
the proof behind Uribe’s denunciation as “serious 
and overwhelming,” knowing that it is completely 
unfounded and nothing more than pure verbiage 
backed up with photographic montages.  But lies 
are part of official U.S. discourse, essential 
elements in granting an aura of legitimacy to 
U.S. imperial designs, for a variety of reasons.

These are lies because, in the first place, if 
the FARC controls around 30% of Colombian 
territory (something that is well known in 
Colombia) it’s impossible to make sense of 
partitioning no less than 1,500 men from the 
theatre of operations, sending their leaders to 
vacation in Venezuela, and organizing 85 
guerrilla camps in a neighboring country.  If 
there is a politician who systematically lies in 
our region – and there are plenty! – Uribe is the 
crowning example: it’s in Colombia itself where 
the rotting oligarchic state in crisis allows for 
wide swathes of its territory, particularly in 
the jungle zones, to be controlled by guerrillas, 
narco-traffickers and paramilitaries.

After the attack that Colombian forces carried 
out on its territory, various Ecuadoran 
authorities commented that Ecuador’s northern 
border with Colombia is marked by nothing so much 
as a no-man’s land controlled by the 
organizations listed above.  With boundless 
ignorance, Uribe accuses his neighbors of not 
doing what he has amply proven unable to do 
himself: control his own territory.  Closing its 
eyes to this reality, the United States is using 
this false claim to hound the Bolivarian 
government for its lack of collaboration in the 
struggle against drug-trafficking, using the 
“free press” to hide the bothersome fact from the 
public that the greatest worldwide exporter of 
cocaine (as well as drug traffickers) is 
Colombia, militarized by Uribe and thanks to his 
invaluable collaboration, converted into a U.S. 
protectorate.  Given this picture of political 
decay, the complaint that the FARC have taken up 
residence in Venezuela – with the support and 
complicity of Hugo Chávez’s government of all 
things! – is nothing more than a vulgar deceit in 
the service of empire; an accusation that is so 
completely lacking on any basis as to be taken 
even slightly seriously.  It’s a lie that exposes 
someone as completely unscrupulous as 

In the second place, how can it be forgotten that 
Uribe was the man who lied so treacherously when 
his military forces, supported by those of the 
United States, made their incursion onto 
Ecuadoran territory, alleging that they were going after a column of the FARC?

Forensic evidence showed that the guerrillas who 
they were supposedly chasing after a 
confrontation that took place on Colombian 
territory were sleeping – dressed in pajamas, 
even – when the attack took place, and therefore, 
what took place at Santa Rosa de Sucumbíos was 
not a battle but a plain and simple 
slaughter.  This operation, carried out shortly 
after midnight on March 1st, 2008, occurred with 
the logistic and material support of  U.S. 
Americans housed at the Manta airbase in Ecuador, 
the only people with the aircraft and technology 
capable of the astonishingly accurate bombing of 
the jungle in the absolute dead of night.

One more example of Uribe’s unhealthy fondness 
for the lie was the story put forth about the 
famous laptop belonging to Raúl Reyes, which with 
unprecedented technological prowess survived 
unscathed from a bombing that destroyed 
everything in its path and whose hard drive would 
go on to produce extremely valuable information 
about the extensive contacts of Reyes and the 
FARC with all of the enemies of Uribe and the 

Third, how can a man be believed, who from the 
presidency of Colombia validated the actions of 
paramilitaries and state terrorism?  On February 
16th of this year, the “Justice and Peace” unit 
of the Colombian Attorney General’s office 
published a report in which it was revealed that 
more than 4,000 paramilitaries from the United 
Self Defense Forces of Columbia (Autodefensas 
Unidas de Colombia – AUC) said that they had 
perpetrated 30,470 murders in the period 
beginning in the 1980’s, until their 
“demobilization” in 2003-2006.  Not only that: 
the Colombian Attorney General also took 
statements from paramilitaries accounting for 
1,085 murders, 1,438 forced recruitments of 
minors, 2,530 forced disappearances, 2,326 forced 
displacements and 1,642 extortions, as well as 1,033 kidnappings.

Despite this woeful record, Uribe is considered 
by his bosses in Washington to be a champion in 
the struggle for human 
In this regard, if the long-awaited Free Trade 
Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and the United 
States has still not been ratified by the U.S. 
Congress, it’s because, as the conservative 
Colombian newspaper El Tiempo points out, in 2009 
alone, the paramilitaries and “security forces” 
killed 40 trade union leaders, turning Colombia 
into the most dangerous country in the world for 
this kind of activity.  Out of a total of 76 
union leaders killed worldwide, 52% of these 
murders took place in a country that the United 
States considers a paradigmatic example of the 
struggle for human rights and the struggle 
against terrorism.  The United Central of 
Colombian Workers (Central Única de Trabajadores 
de Colombia) reported just a few months ago that 
2,721 activists and leaders of that organization 
were killed by “security forces” since its 
founding in 
Despite this, Colombia’s democratic credentials 
have never been in doubt in Washington. 

Fourth, the denouncer is no less than the person 
intellectually and politically responsible for 
the serial murders known as “false 
positives.”  As pointed out in a series of notes 
published in Colombia by Crónicon: The Latin 
American Observer, during these last three years 
of the Uribe government, the balance sheet is 
dismal.  It proved that in response to the 
government’s pressure to show concrete results in 
the struggle against guerrillas, the Colombian 
Army designed and carried out a criminal plan: 
moving through the country’s poorest villages and 
towns with offers of work among the huge masses 
of unemployed, the Army recruited a high number 
of poor, defenseless peasants and marginalized 
youth, who were later killed in cold blood, with 
their bodies dressed up afterwards as guerrillas 
killed in combat, in order to charge the bounty 
set up by the government and obtain bonuses or military career advancement.

According to very conservative estimates, these 
State crimes, perpetrated while the future 
Colombian president, Juan M. Santos, was the 
Defense Minister, surpassed 1,700 cases. 
Another facet of this criminal policy under the 
misnomer of democratic security, is provided in 
the discovery which came to light on February 16, 
2010, of  “the largest mass grave in modern 
history of the American continent, a horrendous 
discovery that has been made practically 
completely invisible” by the mainstream press in 
Colombia and around the world.  “The mass grave, 
in La Macarena, in the Department of Meta, 
contains the remains of at least 2,000 people, 
(and was discovered) thanks to the perseverance 
of the family members of the disappeared and the 
visit of a delegation of union members and 
members of the British parliament who came to 
Colombia in December of 2009 to investigate the 
human rights situation.” It’s worth adding that 
this area had been an object of close attention 
by the Colombian armed forces since 2005, with 
the awful results that were recently 

As with all the state terrorism that struck the 
region during the 1970’s, the crimes against 
humanity committed by their perpetrators also had 
a financial basis.  In the case of Uribe’s 
Colombia, with his troupe of bloodthirsty freaks, 
millions of hectares left behind by the 
campesinos in their desperate exodus from the 
bombings and indiscriminate slaughters they faced 
were parceled out between the corrupt armed 
forces, the paramilitaries and the 
drug-traffickers.  As Jomary Orteon Osorio, from 
the Colombian Lawyers Collective stated at a 
conference of the U.N. Committee on Economic, 
Social and Cultural Rights (OHCHR) convened in 
Geneva at the beginning of May this year, the 
figure for displaced peasants would reach 
4,500,000, and their lands would later be 
transferred, to the great benefit of those 
charged with their displacement: to the 
landowners and agribusiness, the sponsors and 
financers of the paramilitaries.  At this same 
conference it was established that despite these 
“successes” of the Uribe government, the number 
of displaced persons continues to grow at the 
rate of 150,000 people per year.  The Colombian 
Planning Minister, Esteban Piedrahita Uribe, head 
of the Colombian delegation at the conference, 
did not deny the allegations and limited himself 
to saying that “we have confiscated 2,000,000 
hectares from criminal groups who illegally 
seized these lands and now justice will decide 
their return to their rightful owners.” 
In any case, it must be emphasized that the 
calculation of the number of expropriated 
hectares in this savage remaking of the process 
of primitive accumulation of capital that Marx 
described in his famous Chapter 24 of the first 
volume of Capital is subject to heated 
controversy.  There are those who maintain that 
the number of hectares transferred in this manner 
reaches 6 million, but there are others who put 
the figure at around 10 million.  In any case, 
whatever the number finally established beyond 
any doubt, it’s certain that if the policy of 
democratic security did anything at all, it was 
to secure the expropriation of the peasant masses 
and their holdings in favor of capitalist 

This is the man who now raises his accusing 
finger against the Bolivarian revolution.  It’s 
obvious that it is just one more maneuver, 
dictated by the empire’s strategists, to harass 
the government of Hugo Chávez and legitimize the 
policy of “hard power” of which it seems Obama 
has become even more enamored than his 
ignominious predecessor, despite the official 
declarations and writings of certain analysts 
close to the White House such as Joseph Nye, who 
insistently speak of the advantages of “soft 
power” (traditional diplomacy) or “smart power,” 
(intelligent power, new diplomacy) over the high 
cost and brutality of the former.  However, the 
empire insists on the hard power at its 
impressive military disposition: therefore, the 
bases in Colombia; in Aruba and Curaçao only a 
few kilometers away from the Venezuelan coast; 
those in both El Salvador and Honduras and, now, 
the authorization to introduce no less than 7,000 
Marines and all kinds of weapons as well as 
aircraft carriers, helicopters, amphibious ships 
and latest generation airplanes in neighboring Costa Rica.

That’s also the reason for the Fourth Fleet’s 
presence. In this way, Uribe’s government 
performs a service of extraordinary importance in 
the facilitation of imperialism’s destabilizing, 
counter-constituent plans: unable to protect its 
586 kilometer border with Ecuador, where it has 
dedicated barely 8 tiny military detachments, and 
even less unable to do so along the 2,216 
kilometers of the Colombian-Venezuelan border – 
transformed into a free-for-all zone for drug 
dealers and paramilitary – it is trying by all 
possible means to create the conditions that 
would justify U.S. military intervention in South 
America; for the moment, the tension between 
Colombia and Venezuela following the presidential 
succession remains, preventing Santos from 
modifying the agenda of permanent confrontation 
instituted by Uribe against the Bolivarian 
revolution and muddying the waters so that Chávez 
will arrive at the September elections totally 
worn out and internationally harassed.

Worried about his personal future and burdened by 
the specter of Noriega rotting away in a Yankee 
jail cell, or being sued before the International 
Criminal Court, Uribe is making every effort 
until his last day in office to show his total 
submission to the dictates of imperialism. For 
that reason two things are of utmost importance: 
exposure of the man who is reporting the crime 
and demanding the UNASUR’s immediate intervention 
to deactivate Washington’s plans for Our America. 
This is not a case for the OAS (an organization 
that failed to defuse Uribe’s provocation) but 
for UNASUR, which with this incident, will be put 
to the test. Hopefully this newborn organization 
of South American countries will act immediately 
– right away – otherwise, it may be too late to 
avoid the serious consequences of all kinds that 
could result if the warmongering U.S. project 
implemented by Washington and its Latin American 
proxies is carried to its conclusion.

[i] See the following declassified document at 
the U.S. National Security Archive: “U.S. 


At a border more than 2,000 kilometers long with 
few natural demarcations like great rivers, lakes 
or mountain ranges, many people (not just 
ordinary ones but also drug dealers, 
paramilitary, smugglers, criminals) can cross 
back and forth as many times as they please. But 
to assume that the Chávez government endorses the 
establishment of sanctuaries for guerrilla 
training camps in Venezuela  only speaks of the 
absolute dishonesty and lack of moral scruples of 
Uribe and his bosses in Washington.

See the compelling evidence contributed by 
Margarita Vallejo and Horacio López in , El 
ataque de Colombia en territorio ecuatoriano : 
detrás de las palabras y los hechos (Buenos 
Aires: Ediciones del Centro Cultural de la Cooperación, 2009)


[v] Cf. 

[vi]  To the previous should be added the 27 
journalists killed for exercising their 
profession during the eight years of Uribe`s 
rule. Other sources claim a much larger number.

[vii] Cf. Fernando Arellano’s Cronicón 

[viii]  Cf. 
and also


[ix] See the website of the conservative radio 
and television network Cadena Caracol, May 4th, 

[x] See the data provided by the MOVICE, 
Movimiento Nacional de Víctimas de Crímenes de 
Estado: 4.5 million displaced peasants as of 2009:


Expropriated agricultural surface, 2009:


Argentinean sociologist and author Atilio Boron is a friend of Tlaxcala.

Machetera and Manuel Talens are members of 
<http://www.tlaxcala.es/>Tlaxcala, the network of 
translators for linguistic diversity. This 
translation may be reprinted as long as the 
content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translators are cited.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20100727/fc1bc809/attachment.html>

More information about the News mailing list