Colombian social organizations, legislators, trade unionists and human rights defenders Tuesday denounced media defamation of Cuba in the country, lauding the socialist-led country’s role in Colombia’s peace process.
The statement released Tuesday was in response to an article published last week in a local outlet called “Semana”, that accused Cuban officials of orchestrating terror attacks in the country alongside left guerilla groups.
The activist groups recalled that the successful peace negotiation with the Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons (FARC), and the one currently being carried out with the National Liberation Army (ELN), both "have the imprint of Cuba's commitment to peace in Colombia."
“The political peace that we are now achieving would not have been possible without the work and commitment of Cuba,” the signatories of the communique emphasized.
The groups called on Colombian press to treat their reporting with “professionalism” and “rigor”.
“To Cuba,” the statement emphasizes, “we Colombians owe our respect and gratitude for all their work and commitment.”
It was in Havana where the historic peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC had been reached a year ago, after over half a century of internal armed conflict.
However, Rodrigo Londoño, or "Timochenko," FARC’s presidential candidate for Colombia's 2018 elections, this week penned a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to express concerns over the Colombian government's compliance breaches in relation to the peace agreement.
In his letter, Londoño warned of unjustified delays pertaining to the reincorporation of former guerrilla fighters.
The killings of social movement leaders and people's representatives have continued unabated on a near-daily basis, he further noted, while the Colombian National Police mobile riot squad, or ESMAD, continues to repress poor communities.
In addition, since the peace accords were signed, paramilitaries have sought to gain control of strategic areas abandoned by the FARC.
"The reconciliation we dreamed of is being stranded, pushed down by those committed to denying us a space in Colombia,” he wrote.