37 Years of Resistance

"Because what he did not do,
is still not done:
Because, in America,
Bolivar still has work to do!"
Josˇ Mart’

In 1964, forty-eight fighters (two women and forty six men), disadvantaged in arms and numbers, raised high the banner of resistance and patriotic dignity in the face of the war initiated by the Colombian oligarchy with the backing of U.S. imperialism. More than 16,000 men-trained, financed, advised and lead by the U.S. for the "Latin American Security Operation (LASO)"-were sent on Operation Marquetalia. It was carried out by the U.S. imperialist military mission commanded by Major William Yarborou under then-U.S. president Lyndon Johnson. This act of aggression was permitted and accepted by then Colombian president, Guillermo Leon Valencia.

The military preponderance of imperialism and the Colombian Armed Forces in Operation Marquetalia sparked the war of resistance that has now lasted 37 years, first as a popular response to that criminal strategy and later for the conquest of political power in order to achieve the structural change of society.

The FARC are today the People's Army, with a presence throughout national territory. Its unified command is organized with seven Blocs of Fronts, grouping 60 guerrilla Fronts. It has recognition at the national and international level and, most importantly, the support of millions of Colombians.

This struggle is for our second and definitive independence. We are carrying on the work of Bolivar, since, as Marti said, "Because what he did not do is still not done: Because, in America, Bolivar still has work to do!" We reaffirm our commitment that is patriotic and sovereign as well as anti-imperialist; popular and democratic as well as anti-oligarchic; revolutionary as well as socialist.

In 1984, during the first attempt to solve the Colombian conflict peacefully, the Uribe Accords were signed between the FARC-EP and Belisario Betancur, then president of Colombia. Unfortunately, the oligarchy was not interested in deepening the process and the commitments undertaken were not carried out by its representative, the President of the Republic, and thus were broken.

The state's response to the declaration of Commandant Jacobo Arenas that "the destiny of Colombia cannot be civil war" was to strengthen the quasi-official death squads, the most despicable form of extermination. In this way, they cold bloodedly annihilated the opposition political parties, union leaders, defenders of human rights, priests, peasant leaders and democratic personalities, among others.

The enemies of peace do not rest. From the moment a new agreement was made with President Andres Pastrana to establish the talks at San Vicente del Caguan on Jan. 7, 1999, the savagery grew. No week passed without a massacre, a murder or a forced evacuation, all done in the name of the paramilitaries but planned in the military bases. It is the realization of the imperialist doctrine of internal security.

The yankees are not combating drug traffic. To do that, they would have to start their campaign in the U.S.

Today, 37 years later, U.S. imperialism has again given the order to intervene against Colombia and especially against the FARC-People's Army, by means of "Plan Colombia", which has the following features:

1. The military re-equipping of the Colombian Armed Forces.

2. Retraining of the rapid reaction force, with future strategic aims as an international intervention force.

3. Putting the whole intelligence infrastructure, including financing, high tech equipment and the intelligence networks of the CIA and the NSA (National Security Agency), at the service of these plans.

4. Use of lies and slanders to justify their manipulation of information and the legal system, ranging from media campaigns to attempts to extradite and try commandants of the FARC-EP.

The pretext for "Plan Colombia" is the struggle against the narcotics traffic. It should be remembered that we already suffered the use of the previous pretext, "the struggle for democracy against international communism". Nothing could be more false. This plan aims to extend the conflict to all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for the one purpose of justifying political, economic and military intervention in the region.

The yankees are not combating drug traffic. To do that, they would have to start their campaign in the U.S. where the real chiefs of the international mafias for money laundering and the traffic in narcotics and the chemical precursors, are based. 37 years have passed during which we have shaped the real army of the people in the heat of revolutionary struggle. We continue to hold high our banners and our rifles and carry them proudly on the just path for social transformations and consolidation of unity, always remembering our heroes fallen in action for our liberty, dignity and sovereignty.