Gabriel Angel from Oslo: The FARC, special guests in Norway

Gabriel Angel from Oslo: The FARC, special guests in Norway


Traveling to Oslo from Bogotá takes thirteen hours by jet. They are more than 8,000 kilometers across the Atlantic at more than thirty thousand feet in height.

I commented to Victoria Sandino, who was traveling by my side, that we were doing in a day what for other men, centuries ago, represented a challenge of historical proportions, Columbus, Magellan, Francis Drake.

Times change. I am part of a delegation of the FARC-EP that traveled to Scandinavia, formally invited by the government of Norway, with the approval of its Colombian pair. The Kingdom of Norway served as the guarantor of the peace process that ended with the Final Agreement last November. For more than five years, alongside the Republic of Cuba, it remained perseverant at the Talks Table of Havana, and it must be said, in honor of the truth, that its presence and influence was crucial for the final achievement.

Especially for a truth that no one who has the head in its place can put in doubt. Norway seemed called to represent, at the talks, the role of ally of the government of President Santos, on the assumption that it is a developed capitalist country and member of NATO. Anyone could say, in turn, that the socialist character of the Cuban revolution naturally converted it to be our ally on the Talks Table.

In the end we are completely clear that neither of the two guarantors meant what at first glance would seem like elemental logic.

Their real commitment was to provide the maximum of collaboration and support to make talks possible, while at the same time pushing hard, even in the most difficult moments, so that neither side would walk away from the Table. This implied an enormous responsibility with the peace of our country, an untouchable impartiality, a motivation of a nature far superior to any immediate interest.

Now that the Agreements are a fact, and the priority is to work on their implementation and compliance, the government of Norway again demonstrates a moving generosity. We were told by Foreign Minister Brende at the meeting on Tuesday that his desire was that the Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, would also have been present in Oslo. Unfortunately his schedule made it impossible for him to attend.

Norway wanted the two guarantor countries to show the world their willingness that their work of so many years will not end up frustrated in any way.

The peace of Colombia, contrary to what is presented by internal sectors of the extreme right, is a world-wide event, in which governments and organizations from all over the world are engaged.

This is proved by Norway’s invitation to the FARC to attend the Oslo Forum, an international meeting that is about drawing a line on how to find a civilized and peaceful way of solving and avoiding armed conflicts in today’s world. To this meeting come personalities from countless countries for the exclusive purpose of talking about how to end the war and the unilateral impositions that end up generating it.

The Peace Agreement signed in Colombia is an example for the universe.

The study of its particularities and teachings occupies the attention of the most thinking minds of the five continents. Colombians perhaps fail to appreciate the dimension of what has been achieved in our country with the political solution to our long war. Events such as that of Norway undoubtedly contribute to awareness. Above the low attacks and quarrelsome of those who insist on keeping alive the flame of hatred and violence.

For editorial reasons, this column that I write to be published in Las2Orillas on Fridays, must be delivered to the portal on Wednesday.

That little gap between its writing and its publication have given me real headaches. The weekend can be framed in events very different from those that shone at its beginning, and this always implies the risk of appearing a bit out of focus from the immediate reality.

This time, for example, I write in Oslo, on the edge of midnight, on Tuesday. We are just on the first day of the Oslo Forum, its part specifically related to Colombia still to begin, as it will take place on Wednesday. And pending the Open Forum on our country, which will take place on Thursday, on the initiative of the Colombian Foreign Ministry. It is impossible for me therefore a more complete analysis of the days we will have spent here.

I would like to comment that this afternoon John Kerry kindly approached to greet some members of our delegation, expressing his willingness to assist as much as possible for the success of our peace process. It was just one of the valuable encounters on the first day.

There will be opportunity to speak of all that.


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