Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Former Colombian president Uribe responds to Castro's criticisms

Cuban leader classifies as "folly" Uribe's designation as VP of
investigative committee

Former Colombian president Uribe responds to Castro's criticisms

Former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe rejected criticism aimed at him
from ex Cuban leader Fidel Castro after Uribe was designated to a United
Nations committee that is to investigate the Israeli attack on a
humanitarian flotilla, and he asked Castro not to echo "terrorist

"Former president Fidel Castro has quickly forgotten the eight years of
mutual respect between Cuba and Colombia," Uribe said via a communiqué,
in which, after describing the achievements of his government, he
invited the Cuban leader to analyze them.

"During the last eight years, Colombia dismounted drug-palamilitary
terrorism, debilitated drug-guerrilla terrorism, effectively protected
the radical opposition, and liberties prospered (...)," the Colombian

He added that "it's convenient that ex president Castro analyze those
issues before echoing the slander of political protectors of
drug-guerrilla terrorism."

Uribe's communiqué came after an article published on Sunday in the
Cuban press, where Castro classified as "folly" the fact that United
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated the former leader as
Vice-president of the committee that is to investigate the Israeli
attack on a flotilla with humanitarian aide that was headed to Gaza.

"Among other absurdities, (...) Ban Ki-moon, carrying out superior
orders, incurred in the folly of naming Álvaro Uribe (...) as
Vice-president of the committee in charge of investigating the Israeli
attack on the humanitarian flotilla" on May 31, Castro pointed out.

"As if a country full of mass graves with bodies of assassinated people,
some with up to two thousand victims, and seven Yankee military bases
(...), didn't have anything to do with terrorism and genocide," the
Cuban leader added, who on Sunday held a meeting with Colombian
opposition Senator Piedad Córdoba.

Colombian NGOs, led by privately-owned Consultancy for Human Rights and
Displacement (Codhes), asked the UN a week ago to reconsider the
designation of Uribe to the committee, integrated also by New Zealand
Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, Israeli Joseph Ciechanover, and Turkish
Ozdem Sanberk.

The organizations argue that Uribe "is not qualified to defend
international rights" due to cases such as the bombing he ordered in
March of 2008 on a FARC guerrilla camp in Ecuadorian territory.

They also claim that, during Uribe's administration (2002-2010), there
was a rise in cases of extra-judicial execution of civilians by the
hands of the military, which later presented the victims as members of
illegal armed groups fallen in combat."


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