Open Letter to President Sarkozy by James Petras

Dandelion Salad

by James Petras
Dissident Voice
December 11th, 2007

On the Humanitarian Exchange of Political Prisoners in Colombia and the United States

I read with great interest your letter to FARC leader Manuel Marulanda. I share with you a humanitarian impulse to end the imprisonment of political prisoners in Colombia. However let us be clear, principled and realistic about this: The freedom of the political prisoners of the FARC is dependent on a quid pro quo — the liberation of the resistance fighters of the FARC in the dungeons of the Colombian state.

Your dramatic and highly publicized intervention has focused world public opinion on the prisoners held by the FARC, but you failed to mention the plight of the Colombian government’s political prisoners, tortured and brutalized by a President, whose many closest Congressional associates are awaiting trial for their long-term ties to the paramilitary death squads and narco-traffickers.

Let us begins anew, President Sarkozy. If your want to be an honest mediator or consequential humanitarian leader you must act impartially with a spirit of reciprocity. You have, up to now, acted in a one-sided manner, which is not conducive to a positive resolution of the interchange of prisoners. In your short, highly publicized appeals you have not acted in good faith and equanimity.

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