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News from Havana, Cuba

Find here the latest news reports from the peace process, straight from Havana, Cuba. Permanently updated. 
Friday, 03 November 2017 15:18

Young people confirm that something is shaking up Colombia

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She, who was waiting for the boy, warned me of his arrival. She had not seen him for a long time, since he was a child, perhaps not even ten years old.

But he had been described, a young man of modern times, thin, white, smiling, with tattoos on his skin and a piercing on his nose. It had to be the one who spoke at the reception with the doorman. Sure he was asking for her.

The boy suddenly turned his body, and as soon as he saw her he opened his arms as if they were the huge wings of a giant bird, throwing himself excited to embrace her. With the intense squeeze, happiness was drawn on their faces. When he was a child his father lived with her in the Front, now he saw her as identical. He had come to love her like his mother. And she like her son.

At least fifteen years had passed, and during them many things had changed. Except for that affection born in the guerrilla camps of Córdoba and Antioquia. After having had such a close relationship with his father, things got damaged in his adolescence and were never the same again. Boy mistakes that the old man refused to understand.


She too ended up splitting from the boy's father. Turns of guerrilla life. They spent the afternoon remembering old times and telling of their current lives. As soon as I appeared, the boy begun incessantly asking questions about the guerrilla life, about my experiences in the ranks and about a series of people that always seemed mythical.

I was surprised by his enthusiasm. One believes that a young kid with an Antioqueno accent and grown up in the city, would actually have little interest for guerrilla life. But you soon realise the mistake. The admiration for the great commanders of the FARC was beating in his body and he also expressed his opinions on the Havana Agreements.

Suddenly I remembered when I was his age, and I felt like I was contemplating myself. Sometimes we tend to think that politics is a matter of old people, or at least of older people with settled ideas. We forget that politics is actually made by young people who dream, in permanent search. We will at best leave traces for them to follow.
I returned to meditate on this when chatting with Inio, a boy from Caño Indio whom I met in Catatumbo a few years ago. I was struck by his academic appearance, although I later learned that he had done very few studies. Instead, the passion for technique devoured him. There was no electronic device that he did not challenge himself to repair as the best expert.

He wrote to tell me that practically now they live with the Army in the ETCR. Before, when the ceasefire and the Temporary Zone were established, the troops maintained a prudent distance. Now, with the issue of Territorial Space safety, the soldiers have been ending up in the Space and groups of them ask permission to penetrate frequently. I wanted to know the reaction of the people.

The answer surprised me. None has taken it badly. Of course, they have talked about the matter internally, but their decision has been not to confront them. On the contrary, their efforts are directed to fraternise with them. Even to understand them. For example, they are struck by the way they deal with their supplies. It seems strange to them.

Right now they had four days of delay in the provision. And they approached the commissary of the old guerrilla to ask them to sell them something. They had to explain that they could not sell things, the Government is very strict with the supplies they provide. They would not allow something like that to happen. The soldiers appoint a bursar who has to solve the matter.

And if he does not, they all take it on him. They also say that their commands are very strict in matters of discipline. They demand a very respectful and prudent treatment with the old guerrillas. A soldier told Inio that he had told his mother, by telephone, that he was in the guerrilla camp, and that she had reproached him with alarm.

He had gone on to explain to her that never before in his life had he felt such tranquility. His life was very different, now he had the opportunity to sleep and even play, his previous worries had disappeared completely. I suggested to Inio that they were doing a great political job, that they very showing how we actually are.

Then he answered me laughing, like a political fox, quoting a classic slogan Timo used to say: Remember, that for the work to be done, you have to take time to sharpen the machete.

I was filled with great satisfaction, no doubt something is shaking up Colombia after the signing of the Havana Agreements, and now nobody and nothing can stop this.

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