Over the last week the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, has announced that this October his government will enter into new negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) seeking to end their long civil war.
Santos said that holding such talks is well worth the risk of failure because an end to the conflict would not only would end bloodletting, but also bring a “peace dividend” of up to 2% additional economic growth a year to the country’s economy.
The initial negotiations will take place in Norway and then move to Havana, Cuba. The President said that support for such negotiations by Venezuela and Cuba has been crucial in helping the two sides to reach agreement on conducting the negotiations.
Cuba’s role in this positive development for Colombia and the whole western hemisphere shows the absurdity of the U.S. designation of Cuba as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” on the ground, in part, that some members of the FARC have been living in Cuba.
Former President Carter Calls for Improved U.S.- Cuba Relations
On September 6th, former President Jimmy Carter said the next U.S. president should act forcefully to improve relations with Cuba. He also called for Cuba to be removed from the U.S. State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.