Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Complicating the Uncomplicated

Hostages being released is a good thing, right? Seems like a rhetorical question, but it isn't. Case in point, the release of four hostages from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (Farc) who have hundreds more. People who were held against their will are now free, thanks to negotiations by Venezuelan President, Hugh Chavez. "That's that," you say. Except that it isn't. What does their release really mean? Farc is labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and current right-wing Columbian government (which is so cool on Chavez). They have hostages, so they must be terrorists, right? Well, to others they are known as a left-wing insurgency forced to use violent tactics in railing against the repressive Columbian government that some would call a U.S. backed dictatorship. To-may-toe/To-mah-toe. Those who are fans of Chavez are more sympathetic to Farc, but a left-wing President who shuts down all viable media opposition raises his own set of questions. And according to the BBC News, Farc just wants more media attention, thus the trickling release of certain hostages. So what does the release of four hostages among many over the course of a 4o+ year civil war mean? We wish we could tell you what the answer is for the world or even Latin America, but we'll just go with a sense of relief for their family and friends. That'll have to be enough for now.

No comments: