Oliver Stone was left with the proverbial egg on face when a highly publicized “hostage release” of a two woman and a child, a son “conceived by one with a captor” were to be released into the waiting arms of Venezuela’s left wing president Chavez.

Whoops. Turns out the boy was a foster child in Bogata…and the FARC didn’t bother to mention that little fact.

But their lies don’t matter to true believers: Oliver Stone blames Bush, of course, for a war that started when Bush was fingerpainting in Kindergarten, and then insists:

Every Colombian that I spoke to was scared of the military in some way or another; they’re the most dangerous people, not the Farc.’

Hmm…wonder who he’s been talking to? The families of the 40 journalists killed for exposing the drug trade? The one million Colombians who protested FARC’s killing of innocent prisoners last year?

Or maybe he should talk to a feminist who would point out that a woman imprisoned cannot consent to sexual intercourse with her captors: Like having sex with a priest or one’s psychiatrist, there is a strong implication of coercion that makes consent void.

And of course, the fact that FARC is a major user of civilian killing land mines is fine with Stone.

Oh, but to the elitist Stone, kidnapping ordinary people don’t matter.

Farc is fighting back as best it can and grabbing hostages is the fashion in which they can finance themselves and try to achieve their goals, which are difficult. They’re a peasant army; I see them as a Zapata-like army. I think they are heroic to fight for what they believe in and die for it, as was Castro in the hills of Cuba.’

Ah, but Oliver: they kill hostages, don’t ya know? And now they are finding it hard to kidnap rich businessmen, they are going after low level civil servants and small businessmen…and they are starting to kidnap children.2500 over the last 12 years, and 60 last year alone.

Drug money, robbery, and kidnapping have long fueled this insurgency. Peasants are killed by both sides, and often flee out of fear. But the main ones who suffered were the middle class.

Stone’s blindness to the criminal elements of these left wing groups suggest stupidity or delusion. Heck, even Chavez isn’t that stupid.
Chavez, a self proclaimed heir to Castro, helped FARC by ignoring their presence along his border, but now faces growing violence in that region. What better way to enhance his image (and lower his problems) than start a truce between FARC and the increasingly hard line Uribe government?
Chavez’ list probably went like this:

one:get a truce going,

two:rescue some hostages a la Jesse Jackson,

Three: have it filmed by an adoring leftist film director Oliver Stone and

four: voila: Revolutionay theatre, proclaiming him as savior.
The UK Guardian describes it this way:

If Farc was willing to make this gesture, many believed, it could pave the way for a broader agreement for the release of all 46 hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, three American defence contractors and dozens of local politicians and military and police officers.

But this is nonsense. It ignores the other 3000 plus hostages who are “below the radar” for those who write newspapers. It also ignores that there have been many truces and amnesties.

The last truce ended up with FARC getting their own mini state, and merely increasing their ability to regroup and train new recruits, paid for by the drug farms and factories in their safe zone. That’s why the president of Colombia says no to the latest demands.

And there is another factor in Uribe’s refusal to go along with a safe zone: Human nature.

Leftists in the US and Europe romanticize the “rebels” as hard core true believers, but most are just normal guys who joined to run around carrying guns and do something useful; with time, marriage, and kids, a lot prefer to settle down, which is why amnesties work. But leaving a revolution can be risky (as mass graves of those attempting to leave the NPA here in the Philippines show).

Safe zones mean you don’t have to chose between your family(and maybe getting shot as a traitor) and remaining in the rebellion, and anyway,guarding drug fields is an easier and more lucrative job than cutting sugar cane.

Without this murderous group, the economy of Colombia, with it’s growing middle class and numerous small independent farmers, could thrive.

There are atrocities on all sides, but for Stone and his ilk to ignore the murderous war of FARC against the middle class of Colombia ignores the reality of that civil war.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

She has relatives in rural Colombia.

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