Powered by IR Society at NYU

IR Insider is a production of NYU's International Relations Society. Our goal is to explain and discuss issues in IR in an engaging and thought-provoking fashion. We are written by students, for students, about issues students care about. 

The Communist Party of Colombia Expands the FARC Political Party into Venezuela

During the weekend of November 11, the Communist Party of Colombia (Partido Comunista de Colombia) assembled the First National Preparatory Meeting in Venezuela.

One of the most notable results of the meeting was the expansion and merge of the FARC (Common Alternative Revolutionary Force or Fuerza Alternativa Revolucionaria del Común) of Colombia to Venezuela, creating the new political party FARC-Venezuela.

The meeting was held to contribute to “peaceful coexistence, to the union of common borders, to the fighting of paramilitarism, to the eradication of corruption, to the contraband of extraction and to the fight against the economic blocs the United States attempts to impose against the motherland of Hugo Chávez,” as stated on the Communist Party website.

Source:  BBC News

Source: BBC News

The FARC (Common Alternative Revolutionary Force) was founded in August 2017 as part of the Peace Accord between the state of Colombia headed by President Santos and the already existing FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia).

The change in name from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia to the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force serves to emphasize the transformation of the FARC from a left-wing guerilla terrorist group towards a more leftist leaning organization.

Under the Peace Accord, the FARC is entitled to hold 10 automatic seats in Congress, and are eligible to run for office in other areas of government. The FARC in Colombia already has intentions of running in the 2018 Presidential Elections, placing Rodrigo Londoño, also referred to as Timochenko, as the leader of the party and Presidential candidate.

Londoño responded in a video posted on twitter, “I've never refused a task since I've been with the FARC, but I do wish to consult the opinion of the people before I make my decision” referring whether or not to accept the nomination as candidate.

The Communist Party of Colombia’s website expressed that the FARC seeks to create a platform “to fight against the fascists who attempt to create a divide between Colombians and Venezuelans”, two peoples united “historically in the defense of peace and revolutionary internationalism” and to “respond to the media attacks financed by the right.”

Source:  Pacocol

Source: Pacocol

A crucial part of the FARC’s so-called defense of peace and revolutionary internationalism is their expansion into Venezuela. The creation of the FARC-Venezuela reaffirms the vision of Hugo Chávez for a unified Bolivarian state.

Simón Bolívar, the liberator of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama serves as an icon of Latin American liberation. Chávez used the Bolivarian state as a symbol of liberation from neocolonialism, a term used to describe the economic and political influence the United States has on Latin America.

Although the FARC is moving into the mainstream political systems of Colombia, and now Venezuela, through legal and legitimate ways, it still remains an organization with a history of terrorism and drug trafficking. Londoño, presidential candidate of the FARC, is regarded by the United States as a terrorist, wanted for kidnapping, drug trafficking, and murder.

The revised Colombian Peace Accord, whose original version was rejected in a plebiscite in 2016, is still controversial. It is unknown how the citizens of Colombia and Venezuela will respond to being governed, in part, by a former terrorist group whose members have committed crimes they have not yet responded to publicly.