Back in 2006, then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made headlines with his speech at a United Nations summit, calling George W. Bush “the devil,” for his aggressive militaristic policies. Chavez made great efforts to demonize Bush as a warmonger, while at the same time presenting himself as a promoter of peace. Chavez also appreciated a golden opportunity to achieve this goal, by attempting to bring peace to neighboring Colombia.
The thought of allowing a terrorist group who has committed human rights violations such as the murder, kidnappings and displacement of thousands to create their own political party, let alone be integrated into society, is terrifying. Immediately you get a bad taste in your mouth. But if it means ending a 50-year-old conflict, is it worth the risk? After several failed negotiations throughout the years, the Colombian government is closer than ever to ending its ongoing civil conflict with its two top guerrilla organizations, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). The negotiations include land reform, the elimination of the drug trade, amnesty for combatants, and political participation through new political parties.