A socialist revolutionary group named after Venezuelan founding father Simón Bolívar is organizing a “revolutionary party” in Caracas to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a group that has ravaged Colombian society and has been designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States.
Infobae reports that the group, “La Coordinadora Simón Bolívar,” has scheduled the event for May 24 and promises both conferences in which Marxist Dominincan writer Narciso Isa Conde will speak, as well as an outdoor celebration of the terrorist group. The “Popular Revolutionary Party” will begin at 5 p.m. and take place in a sector of the city known as the May 23rd Parish. The invitation notes that the celebration is explicitly in honor of the FARC “as an organization of struggle in favor of the cause of Colombia’s poor, resisting for 50 years against imperialism and the exploitative and murderous bourgeoisie.”
While an independent group is hosting the event, they make clear that they have the blessing of the Venezuelan government by assuring everyone attending that the government will not arrest them. The invitation states, “We are hopeful that we can count on your valuable attendance, and can guarantee the security of you and yours. We await you with happiness and convinced in our victory.”
The party is yet another indication that the FARC is attempting a change in the tone of their propaganda, if not a change in their ideology or illegal activity. Last week, the FARC released a rap video produced in Cuba, allegedly in support of peasants, starring Dutch terrorist Tanja Nijmeijer. The inclusion of a repeat offender like Nijmeijer who has bombed police stations and set businesses on fire, the rappers in the video told Vice, could “contribute to putting an end to this painful conflict.”
The rap songs arrive at a time in which President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia has agreed to peace talks with the leaders of the terrorist group, occurring in Havana, where FARC terrorists are given sanctuary. Cuba’s ongoing support of the FARC has landed the nation on the United States’ list of state sponsors of terror since 1982. The United States has heralded the peace talks led by President Santos, however, as an integral first step in eradicating both terrorism and the drug trade from which FARC received much of its funding.
Santos told Reuters Tuesday that he believes in peace talks to bring FARC into the political process, forcing them to evolve from a terror group to a highly unpopular political party. “I don’t think the Colombian people would be convinced by its thesis because it’s obsolete, it’s out-of-date communism,” he explained.
While Cuba has been explicitly supportive of FARC, Venezuela has long aided the rebels without overtly linking the government to a terrorist group their neighboring country has been fighting for decades. Rebel documents seized from assassinated FARC leaders in 2011 show that the Venezuelan government allowed the FARC to use jungle territory bordering Colombia to hide. The United States sanctioned Hugo Chávez’s regime that year for aiding terrorists.