Cuba Warns Guerrillas Of The National Liberation Army Of Colombia To Launch Military Attacks

2021-02-09   |   by CusiGO

The Cuban government has warned Colombian Prime Minister Claudia bloom that a faction of the National Liberation Army (ELN) is suspected of launching an attack, which is believed to be the last active guerrilla group in the Andean country. “Our Embassy in Colombia has received a piece of information that we can’t assess about the military attack on the eastern front of the National Liberation Army,” Jos é Luis Ponce, the island’s ambassador to Bogota, said in a memorandum signed on Monday.

The diplomat also pointed out that they warned the NLA delegation staying in Havana not to negotiate with Ivan Duke’s government. No further details were provided in the letter, except that the delegation “expressed complete ignorance and reiterated its pledge not to participate in the organization’s military or operational decisions”. The UN Verification Mission in Colombia also received a copy of the letter, but declined to comment.

The NLA guerrillas, a Catholic fan of Ernesto Che Guevara, have a federal structure that complicates the negotiation process. Some analysts warn that the persecution of the negotiating leaders who remain on the island may benefit the military factions and those that are least willing to engage in dialogue.

The new defense minister, Diego Molano, reiterated on Monday night that “the National Liberation Army is classified as a terrorist by the government of Colombia.”. “The government would like to reiterate that there has been a firm decision for several years since President Duke took office to dissolve the organization as the only mechanism to prevent it from engaging in terrorist acts in different parts of the country,” Narino House said in a statement

The memorandum was released amid growing tensions between the governments of Bogota and Havana. The deterioration can be traced back to the breakdown of the dialogue with guevarista group in January 2019, after Duke attacked a military academy in Bogota during his first term in power, killing 22 people. Just as Cuba negotiated a peace agreement with FARC guerrillas, Cuba welcomed the negotiations with the National Liberation Army. The island’s refusal to extradite the guerrilla negotiating leader, under the cover of the agreement’s collapse, angered Duke’s administration, which even called it a “hostile act.”.

Colombia’s diplomatic campaign also prompted, at least in part, the United States to designate Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism in the last days of Donald Trump’s administration. This decision hindered President Joe Biden’s plan with Havana and caused various reactions.

Duke’s predecessor, former president Juan Manuel Santos, with the support of the Presbyterian group of world leaders, asked the U.S. president a week ago to revoke the appointment. They have defended Cuba’s role as guarantor of the Convention and warned last month that what is at stake is not just the final reconciliation with the National Liberation Army or the relationship between Washington and Havana, “but the possibility of peaceful negotiations.”.