Over the past weeks the FARC has released 4 hostages. However, there are new reports today that they have since kidnapped an additional 6 people. They reportedly continue to hold around 700 hostages. We've noted Hugo Chavez's claim that:
"These are not terrorist groups, they are real armies, real armies that occupy territory in Colombia, that occupy a position," said President Chavez in an address to the Venezuelan National Assembly.
"One must give recognition to the Farc and the ELN, they are insurgent forces that have a political project, that have a Bolivarian project that is respected here."
Now it turns out there is at least one American who agrees with him, the noted diplomat Oliver Stone:
"Farc is fighting back as best it can and grabbing hostages is the fashion in which they can finance themselves and try to achieve their goals, which are difficult. They're a peasant army; I see them as a Zapata-like army. I think they are heroic to fight for what they believe in and die for it, as was Castro in the hills of Cuba."
Unbelieveable. From our pal Wikipedia:
The FARC-EP has employed vehicle bombings, gas cylinder bombs, killings, landmines, kidnapping, extortion, hijacking, as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets, to attack those it considers a threat to its movement. It has not been uncommon for civilians to die or suffer forced displacement, directly or indirectly, due to many of these actions. The FARC-EPs April 16 and April 18, 2005 gas cylinder attacks on the town of Toribió, Cauca led to the displacement of more than two thousand indigenous inhabitants and the destruction of two dozen civilian houses. A February 2005 report from the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights mentioned that, during 2004, "FARC-EP continued to commit grave breaches [of human rights] such as murders of protected persons, torture and hostage-taking, which affected many civilians, including women, returnees, boys and girls, and ethnic groups."