Before the bombing and attack to Marquetalia, Manuel Marulanda Vélez, Jacobo Arenas and their peers [FARC-EP founders], knocked on all doors of the dialogue to avoid the beginning of a new stage of war in Colombia, but this was outshined by the local intransigence and intrigue of the North that feared the repetition of the Cuban revolution experience for Continental America.
Going back in time we can observe the consequent persistence of the FARC in the search for a political solution to the confrontation caused by those who since the death of the Liberator [Simon Bolívar] imposed injustice and political exclusion in Colombia.
Always consistent with the essential element of its strategy, which is peace, the FARC made 5 attempts at a political solution to Colombia's internal conflict.
We tried it in the Dialogues of La Uribe during the Betancur Government Administration, turning the FARC into the launching pad for a new political movement, the Patriotic Union, which was shattered by the obsession and intolerance of regime’s militarist sectors. There were more than 5 thousand killed and massacred; Honor and glory to those who gave their lives for the dream of a New Colombia.
Then we sought reconciliation in the conversations of Caracas and Tlaxcala, an effort that was drowned by the democratic opening, the miserable neoliberalism that snatched that hope away from us.
San Vicente del Caguán was the persistence of the FARC's dream of peace, once again frustrated by the perfidy of a conservative leader who was only looking for time in order to think about reengineering the army that would allow him to continue and win the war.
But despite the vicissitudes and touched by the pain that has this prolonged confrontation has produced to our homeland, we managed to light the flame of hope again with the Havana Peace Talks where we were finally able to sign a treaty for the construction of a stable and lasting peace.
We thought, how much our founding fathers Manuel Marulanda Vélez and Jacobo Arenas, Alfonso, Raúl, Jorge, Efrain and others, wanted to lead the realization of this historic moment of their dreams. They and all who gave their lives for the sake of the poor will live on, in the feelings of concord of generations to come.
The FARC doesn’t forget and evoke with gratefulness the role of Hugo Chavez Frias, commander of the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, who guided the first steps of the contending parties towards the Peace Talks. Thank you, thank you very much in the name of Colombia, President Raúl Castro for the contribution of Cuba to our reconciliation. Norway, Kingdom of Norway, receive our recognition for their important role in the search for peace. President Bachelet, President Maduro: to you who in the name of your people accompanied us as guardian angels throughout the process, we carry them in our hearts.
Today we are witnessing the transition from the armed struggle to the conversion of the FARC into a legal political party. The decision has been taken and endorsed unanimously by the highest authority: the Guerrilla Conference. Now we need to unite all of us who want the best for our homeland and humanity so that the implementation of the Agreements changes the life of Colombians for better.
The Security Council of the United Nations, recognized world authority, will verify the commitments of reincorporation and of respect of Human Rights. We will also be accompanied in this arduous task of the consolidation of the peace by the beloved Pepe Mujica and the ex- president Felipe González, and a constellation of international organizations. We are not alone. The world of the sensible is with us.
We want to remember, however, that the important thing is not only to sign the agreement, but to fulfill it. That peace is not a matter of laws, but of political will. Colombians would gain a lot if we succeeded in cutting off the intricate legal vine that still delays the march of peace and the implementation of what has been agreed.
Backed by the advances of the agreement, in the name of the FARC we place this today in the hands of the people, the transforming power we have built over 53 years of struggle and resistance. The use of the universal right to rebellion, the armed uprising against the oppression of the people was a success because it generated an intangible, perhaps invisible but powerful force, for the Colombian people to claim their rights that have been violated by the privileged minorities.
We are going to politics because that is what peace processes are all about. A political struggle not only derived from the proposal to change bullets for votes, but beyond the electoral horizon and setting its sights on the future, on living well in democracy and dignity of the new generations.
As we advance towards the Constitutive Congress of the new party, we prepare our banners of struggle, which are the same as the feelings of the people that want to wave them. Meanwhile, like Jose Arcadio in his alchemy laboratory* we prepare the glue that must serve to unite the scattered dreams of decorum and homeland for all. We need unity like the air to breathe.
We want Colombia to burst the sound of harmony until it floods and overflows across its borders. We are not the arsonists of enmity between peoples, but the standard bearers of the establishment of relations of respect and friendship with the neighbors and nations of the continent, the propagators of solidarity and love among peoples, dreamers of an old dream of a Great Homeland that flickers in the sky, and that in the stellar moments of history reminds us that together we will be strong and deserve respect; divided and isolated we will perish.
No one can stand against hope if it is embodied in millions of souls who claim for humaneness and NOT VIOLENCE. Hope belongs to us all: the peasant and the businessman, the pure indigenous native and the media director, the youth and women, the guerrilla, the military and the police. Also of the paramilitary who doesn’t want more blood. Black and white. The hope is for the Christian and the hatred blinded opponent, because peace belongs to all. Nobody can stay behind the train of peace that has begun to take its march.
Definitely, among all, we can turn the bloody page of violence that was written with lyrics of exclusion and contempt of the human being. For this, the TRUTH of what happened during this sad conflict is required. Let no one be afraid of the truth, let no one flee like the devil to the cross. As Zaffaroni says: there are very serious wounds that really require reconciliation, because otherwise, those wounds will become infected. We want to reiterate the sentiments of Timochenko in Cartagena de Indias when signing the Peace Agreement: forgiveness for the affectations that we could have caused in this long conflict, the longest one of Our America. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
May the Choosing Commission in its wisdom choose the members of the Commission for Clarification of the Truth and the Colombia’s Peace Magistrates. They are welcome.
Something tells us that this Government has the keys to give to all of Colombia its inalienable right to live in peace and dignity. The consolidation of peace has the tool of the Constitution and must be used to prevent any irresponsible from carrying out their threat shredding it*. While war is the failure of law, peace exalts life, as Alvaro Leyva says.
We have always stated that the fate of Colombia cannot be war. No no no! We have to raise Colombia from the muds of war to the summit of humanity. In a very short time, we hope to hear the symphony of voices of inclusion, which is true democracy, proclaiming that we have won the most beautiful of all battles: peace.
Central High Command of the FARC-EP
*Reference to the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by the Colombia Literature Noble Prize Winner, Gabriel García Márquez.
*Reference to what was said at the Convention of peace detractor and far right political party “Centro Democratico” when proclaiming that they will “shred” the Peace Agreement if they win the 2018 presidential elections.