Letter on the critical issues with Ecuador addressed to the members of the FARC Secretariat
February 28, 2008
To the Comrades of the Secretariat, Our Best Regards.
1. The phase of unilateral release of prisoners has been completed successfully. We have taken several burdens off our shoulders and we have propped up our political stance before the eyes of Chávez. The downside is the increasing pressure regarding Ingrid (Betancourt), given Luis Eladio Pérez's statements that she is in a bad health condition and subject to discriminatory treatment. As far as I know, this woman has a volcanic temper. She is offensive and defiant to the guerrilla troops who are in charge of taking care of her. Besides, since she is a literate in image and semiology, she uses her knowledge to provoke reactions against the FARC. As I expect the French Envoy to complain about this, I intend to inform him about this situation.
2. A summary of the meeting with President Correa's Envoy follows:
a) He asked for a personal meeting in Quito with the Secretariat. He offered assurances and transportation from the border to the meeting place.
b) He expects us to send back a reply as soon as possible, including the meeting date.
c) He asked whether we would like to make this with military support of with support of his minister of state security.
d) He wants to talk to the FARC about the humanitarian agreement, the border policies, the political solution, Ingrid, and Chávez's role. He wants to establish communications with us over the bilateral border.
e) He wants to explain the purposes of Plan Ecuador, through which he intends to offset the harmful effects of Plan Colombia and which is to be implemented over the border.
f) For the purposes of Plan Ecuador, they are asking us for courses on mass organization for people living in the border, which the government would later designate to coordinate work in the border. The advantage in this is the fact that these people are part of the Clandestine Army or in the Bilateral Committee oriented by Front 18.
g) He insisted he is interesting in cooperating with the swap of prisoners, for which he is calling for the release of Moncayo's son or any other prisoner.
3. Regarding their invitation, we thanked for it and explained to them that such decisions have to be made by the Secretariat, and that this requires some time. We made it clear that we are interested in making a contribution to the goal of coming closer in the border, which is consistent with the policies we exposed in the Bolivarian platform, the manifesto and other documents issued by the Secretariat.
4. Based on the talks with the Envoy, Chávez-Correa relations are not at the best moment. Besides, Uribe is regularly calling Correa to help him to iron out differences with Chávez. Besides his Ambassador, Uribe has another official based in Quito, whose mission is lobbying with Correa and his government, seeking help to fight against the FARC and to improve relations with Chávez.
5. We are concerned about the likely mobilization to attend this invitation, given the significant number of intelligence agencies and high levels of corruption in this country, where the government is quite weak.
6. The gringos called for a meeting with the minister to ask him to tell us they are interested in talking about several topics. They claim they new president in their country will be Obama and that these people are interested in their fellow citizens. Obama will support neither Plan Colombia nor the signature of the Free Trade Agreement. In this regard, we replied we are interested in relations with the governments that are on equal grounds and that in the case of the United States, a public statement voicing their interest in talking to the FARC is needed, given their eternal war against us.
That is all. Regards, Raúl.
HYDROCARBONS Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs Rafael Ramírez discussed on Monday with Russian authorities the status of the oil market and the sustained plunge in oil prices, the Venezuelan Foreign Office reported.
OIL Russia and Venezuela discussed joint actions to fight falling oil prices, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday after holding talks on Monday with Venezuela's Foreign Minister Rafael Ramírez.
PDVSA Russian oil giant Rosneft said on Monday that it had signed a new oil and byproducts supply agreement with Venezuelan state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).