The two sides, inspired by the most encouraging optimism, expressed willingness to work in order to reach a final agreement within a maximum period of six months. I myself went beyond this and expressed our willingness to achieve it much earlier. Hence March 23 appeared as the date on which the Colombian nation would be able to celebrate the historic end to the conflict.
Today we feel concerned about the fact that on the government side there seems to be a certain purpose to slow down, to complicate the progress of the agreements. The slow pace imposed on the Table and the Subcommissions provides much food for thought. Frequent postponements, the pretexts and the excuses for not being as punctual with rounds and sessions as they should be.
Suddenly it turned out that the agreement on justice could not be considered closed; the only thing that was official, was a public statement. A number of issues had to be reviewed. Within barely a week, two months will have passed by since the solemn ceremony of the announcement of this happy agreement took place and it remains impossible to close it. And this is not because the FARC-EP has denied one single letter of what had been approved.
We hear voices saying that this deadline is immovible, as if it were a fatal condition. And what if March 23 arrived and there was no Final Agreement? ?Would we just throw overboard everything we worked for and reached for so long? That would not be appropriate nor fair. Or is today's procrastination aimed at pressuring us during the last minute and forcing us to accept impositions?
That really would be a disastrous thing. The talks are and must remain the ideal place to discuss and reach agreements; none of the parties has the right to conceive them as a mechanism to make the other party surrender. We got here because in the midst of all the difficulties we have been able to strengthen confidence. We should not affect it in any way.
We don?t want people to say that the FARC-EP is announcing that we won?t keep our word. On the contrary, by mentioning the current obstacles, we expect a positive attitude from the national government that will allow us to conclude as soon as possible with this long conflict. President Santos, with willingness, any agreement is possible. Ours exists and is firm, let's move on.
Comandante of the Central High Command of the FARC-EP
Havana, November 17, 2015.
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