Cuba is rejecting the act of terrorism exacted by members of Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) last week which left 21 people dead and aborted peace dialogues with Colombian officials.
ELN Takes Responsibility For Colombian Cadet School Attack
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez tweeted Monday, “With the moral of having been a victim of state terrorism for decades and an impeccable record, we condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, whatever their motivations.
"Cuba has never allowed or allowed its territory to be used for the organization of terrorist acts against any State," the minister said, adding that the Caribbean country is a staunch supporter of peace initiatives.
The nation has fulfilled its role as mediator for Colombia’s peace talks between the former rebel group and state officials, Rodriguez said.
"Cuba will act in strict respect to the Protocols of the Peace Dialogue signed between the Government and the ELN, including the Protocol in Case of Breakdown of the Negotiation," he said, referring to Cuba’s protocol to become a neutral party to the state’s interior differences.
Colombian President Ivan Duque has requested Cuba extradite the 10 ELN negotiators previously engaged in peace talks with government officials.
High commissioner of Peace, Miguel Ceballos, said saying that “there is no legal reason, there is no political reason, there is no ethical reason,” to protect the ELN members.
"We as a government can not allow a protocol to be applied so that some gentlemen return to their ranks in Colombia and go into the jungle to hide from justice," Ceballos said.
On Thursday, Jan.17, a car strapped with explosives burst into Bogota’s police academy, killing the driver and 21 others and injuring 68 people. Witnesses told reporters at the site that the explosion broke the windows of several nearby apartments and homes.
In a statement released Monday, the ELN took responsibility for the bombing, saying that the school of police cadets is used to impart training to personnel who will then take part in combat intelligence service, carry out military operations, and actively participate in counter-insurgency.
The attacks on the National Police’s compound would represent a response to military activities carried out by the Government of President Ivan Duque during the ceasefire implemented by the armed group during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, according to the ELN.
They added that the insurgency is not going to relinquish its efforts of promoting peace, “because it is clear to us that we are at war as the class in power has reiterated that talks need to be carried out in the middle of the conflict.