The three American hostages who were freed in Colombia last week had a party/press conference today in Texas. They were happy to be home, but also had harsh words for their captors, who held them prisoner in the jungle for more than five years. Marc Gonsalves spoke:
“I want to send a message to the FARC,” Gonsalves said. “FARC, you guys are terrorists. You deny that you are, you say with words that you’re not terrorists, but your words don’t have any value.”
He said a hostage with a chain around his neck would be forced to march while carrying a heavy backpack and a guerrilla armed with an automatic weapon held the other end of the chain “like a dog.”
“They say that they want equality, they say that they just want to make Colombia a better place,” Gonsalves said. “But it’s all a lie.”
He’s right, of course. But some Americans seem remarkably oblivious to the evil that FARC, Hugo Chavez and other Latin American leftists represent. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Mary O’Grady writes about the fact that some “human rights” organizations are in fact allies of, and fronts for, terrorist groups. That’s a fair point, but I want to focus on the latter part of her column, in which she describes efforts by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to turn the hostages into “a public-relations coup that would give him and the FARC ‘continental and world renown.'”
O’Grady’s account is based on documents that were captured from a FARC laptop in a raid by the Colombian military that we wrote about here. Based on those documents, it appears that Chavez had a couple of schemes to set up prisoner exchanges involving the FARC hostages. This is the most interesting one:
That plan flopped, but Mr. Chavez had other cards up his sleeve. One involved Ms. Cordoba, who is currently under investigation by the Colombian attorney general for ties to the FARC. She figures prominently in the captured rebel documents, and is notoriously close to Mr. Chávez.
She met at the Venezuelan presidential palace with FARC leaders last fall. From that meeting the rebels reported that “Piedad [Cordoba] says that Chávez has Uribe going crazy. He doesn’t know what to do. That Nancy Pelosi helps and is ready to help in the swap [hostages in exchange for captured guerrillas]. That she has designated [U.S. Congressman Jim] McGovern for this.”
If the speaker of the House was working with Ms. Cordoba in this scheme, her judgment was more than a little misguided. The rebels write that on a trip to Argentina Ms. Cordoba told them, “It doesn’t matter to me the proposal that Sarkozy has made to free Ingrid. Above all, do not liberate Ingrid.”
If this report is correct, Nancy Pelosi was carrying on her own foreign policy in opposition to that of the United States, trying to work with the socialist Hugo Chavez and the Communist FARC terrorists to undermine America’s ally, Colombia. In normal times, this would be unthinkable. Given the crazed state of today’s Democratic party, I’m not so sure.
Further, the statement that Pelosi designated the outrageously left-wing Jim McGovern to head up her mission to the terrorists is also interesting. It may tie in with this document, which, as reported by the Associated Press, apparently records an attempt by Democrats to encourage FARC to hold on until Barack Obama becomes President:
In a Dec. 11 message to the secretariat, Marquez [FARC’s contact with Chavez, who lives in Venezuela] writes: “If you are in agreement, I can receive Jim and Tucker to hear the proposal of the gringos.”
Writing two days before his death, Reyes [FARC’s “foreign minister”] tells his comrades that “the gringos,” working through Ecuador’s government, are interested “in talking to us on various issues.”
“They say the new president of their country will be (Barack) Obama,” he writes, saying Obama rejects both the Bush administration’s free trade agreement with Colombia and the current military aid program.
Was “Jim” Jim McGovern? And, if so, was he really the emissary of Nancy Pelosi to a gang of South American terrorists, urging them to hold on until Barack Obama can sell out America’s ally and the terrorists’ nemesis, Uribe, by withdrawing from the Colombia free trade agreement and cutting off aid to Colombia’s government?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but one would think that at least one reporter would be willing to ask Pelosi why her name pops up in the communications of South American terrorists. As their ally.
UPDATE: A State Department officer writes:
Excellent post on Pelosi, Colombia, Cordoba, et al. It’s an amazing story most noteworthy for the fact that our press seems not to care.
Senator Cordoba is, to say the least, a disreputable person. She’s spent as much time at Chavez’s side lately as she has in her own country – she was (boisterously) in Caracas when Chavez was moving tanks to the Colombian border – and it is rumored that he pays for her lavish vacations in the Dominican Republic. Her clear goal is the toppling of the Uribe government, one of our most steadfast allies in South America. Another interesting factoid: just last week she was stopped by immigration at JFK and questioned for several hours because her name popped on the terrorism watch list (for good reason). In Colombia she is typically referred to as Mata Hari or Jane Fonda.
If indeed Nancy Pelosi and her leftist friends are cavorting with Sen Cordoba, it is truly scandalous. Perhaps the Logan Act deserves updating to include collusion with transnational terrorist groups.
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