Castro regime distressed by the failed vote in Colombia
Almost a week after Colombians voted against the peace agreements signed between guerrilla fighters and the Government of that country, journalists for the Cuban regime have barely referred to the results at the polls. There has been only an occasional report transmitting the results of the vote, but scarce analysis or comments seeking to unravel the reasons for the negative result.
It seems that the regime is troubled by the decision of Colombian voters, who apparently found the implications of the agreements for the future of Colombia's more convincing than the extravagant event in Cartagena de Indias, attended by many heads of state, including the sizeable security entourage that always accompanies Raúl Castro.
In all honesty, it is very likely that some of the Government's journalists, working in the Island's print, radio and television media, have already reached the right conclusion, but those in the upper echelons would never allow them to voice it.
Almost all Colombians want to see the war end. This is beyond question. What they disagree on how is peace should be achieved. Those who voted against the agreement rejected impunity for all the guerrillas, and them participating in country's political life without being democratically elected, and the possibility of them someday rising to control the nation's government. They fear, and rightly, another regime of the kind established by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.
Most Colombians want punishment for the guerrillas, who spilled blood uselessly, kidnapped people, and recruited children into the hell of war, among other crimes. They also wonder: what would have become of Colombia if the guerrillas had triumphed and seized political power in the nation? They certainly would not have implemented the rule of law. They would have requested Cuban counsel. And, even though they do not want to admit it now, there should be no doubt that Castroism would have celebrated such a scenario.
The Cuban Government, at its core, has always sympathized with the kind of violent methods to seize power employed by revolutionary forces on the Left, and if they have ever deviated from this path, it has only been for the sake of expedience, or for reasons beyond their control.
At the end of the 60s, after the failure of Che Guevara's antics in Bolivia, Cuba abandoned its guerilla-based strategies and focused on entering Moscow's orbit. At that time the Soviet Union, unlike China, preferred struggle by Communist parties over armed action.
However, in the 80s they resumed their former support for guerrillas, and turned the Island into a rear guard for the FMLN, which waged a bloody struggle against the Salvadoran government. This conflict devastated the small Central American country before concluding in the context of the collapse of international Communism and the disappearance of the Soviet Union. There are good reasons to classify that clash as another of the many regional conflicts fuelled by East-West confrontation.
At the Iberoamerican Summit in Panama in the year 2000 Francisco Flores, then the president of El Salvador, rightfully accused Fidel Castro, to his face, of having his hands stained with the blood of the Salvadoran people. This accusation made such an impact that the leader never again participated in an Ibero-American Summit.
All this indicates that Cuban leaders – regardless of the support they have given to or withheld from the Colombian guerrillas over these five decades of conflict – wince at the condemnation of any guerrilla movement. And Colombia's decision at the polls on October 2 was just that: a rejection of the guerrillas.