Report from Havana, March 14, 2015
Havana, Cuba - Member of Secretariat Carlos Antonio Lozada responded some questions by the press today, mainly about the internal circular note by Timoleón Jiménez to all guerrilla combatants of the FARC-EP, which was intercepted by intelligence agencies and filtrated by Caracol Radio.
In the document, the commander in chief of the FARC-EP explains to the guerrilla fighters that, after months of fruitful discussions in the Technical Subcommission between commanders of the FARC-EP and generals of the Armed Forces about a bilateral and definitive cease of fire and hostilities and abandonment of weapons, the government presented a new document that reverses everything discussed and agreed so far in this subcommission.
In the document, Timoleón Jiménez further calls upon the guerrilla fighters to be prepared for anything, because "if the government continues trying to pressure us with deadlines or with Obama's visit, there is nothing left for us but to continue doing what we have done for 50 years".
Today, responding questions to the press about this subject, Carlos Antonio Lozada made clear that the Conversation Table is not “paralized”, as suggested by the media. Only the discussion on a bilateral ceasefire in the Technical Subcommission has been stopped.
He explained that the government is trying to impose a unilateral position, while the FARC-EP has always sustained that the agreements should have a bilateral character. The government, with this document, intends to go back to the exploratory meetings three years ago, when they wanted to impose an unconditional surrender by the insurgency. “This is a peace process, not a demobilization process of the guerrillas”, Lozada stated.
However, he affirmed that, together with the guarantor countries, formulas are being sought that could recover what has been agreed so far, in order to move forward. “If this is not done properly, things will get complicated because credibility will be lost”, the spokesman said.
A credibility that had already been crumbled by previous peace processes. The spokesman mentioned the peace process in Casa Verde, when the government suddenly started bombing the guerrillas in the midst of the talks, and the process in El Caguán, when the government started bombing the guerrillas without waiting the 48 hours that had been established in the protocols. “(…) we have to take measures to avoid being betrayed and attacked again, like happened in the past”, concluded the Comandante.