This is an unexpected guest post. Miguel Octavio of the Devil's poop is out of the country traveling and is having problems to post on his blog. Thus he sent me this e-mail as he wants to express himself on the wonderful freedom of Ingrid Betancourt yesterday. He will be reposting the post below at his blog at some point. Meanwhile you can leave your comments here if you wish or go to his latest post there and comment anyway even if "off topic".
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As Ingrid Betancourt is freed today, Alvaro Uribe scores a huge victory and Hugo Chavez loses big, as his bid to gain worldwide fame, helps Colombia defeat the FARC and the most symbolic hostage is out. This puts the FARC in a corner, where it makes no sense anymore to hold the remainder hostages and their decades old terrorists' war, which turned into drug trafficking and kidnapping to support the effort, is over.
While the news is great, as long held Betancourt is finally freed in good health, it throws some uncertainty over the remainder hostages, as the former Presidential candidate represented the most visible hostage the world was ready to fight for. Thus, there will be a period of uncertainty for the remainder people suffering the horror of years in captivity, treated badly and without good medical care.
Its already been hours since the surprising rescue by the Colombian Government and there has been no reaction by the Venezuelan Government. Perhaps Chavez is calling Cuba to map out a strategy for his response, perhaps he is depressed, but is certainly a bad day for him. The Venezuelan President tried to play a high stakes game, the way he has tried with us in the last ten years, but he had a more formidable opponent, used to playing tough and they actually used him to raise the communications levels among the FARC commanders and in the end Uribe got the upper hand on both the FARC and the Venezuelan President.
French President Sarkozy is another winner as he made the liberation a point of honor and made the media and his country focus on it.
But most of all, it is a great day for Ingrid Betancourt, the three American hostages and the eleven Colombian hostages who may now attempt to escape the horror they have lived through and regain some semblance of their lives.
The world also has to learn from recent events, not to sympathize with terrorists, not to defend them. Uribe was painted as the bad guy too many times in his fight to return peace to his country, while the FARC kidnapped and traded drugs to survive. The terrorist criminals of the FARC should be given one last chance by the world to give up the remainder hostages and return to civilian life. If they don't, the world should back the Colombian President.
It is not a matter of ideology, it is simply a defense of humanity and people's rights.