‘If FARC Insists on the Old Approaches, They Will Have Been Ambushed’: Silla Vacía Interviews Veteran Journalist Alfredo Molano (S)
La Silla Vacía, Colombia’s leading independent news site, published on 1/4/2016 a lengthy interview with Alfredo Molano, award-winning columnist who’s covered the nation’s civil war for decades. The interview was conducted in Spanish and covers a broad range of topics. It can be found here. We’ve translated excerpts into English.
How do you think FARC will fare in politics? Alfredo Molano: FARC have learned a lot in the negotiations. From the table, they’ve seen a country that’s different than the one they saw from the mountain, and have started their attempts to communicate with it. For many commanders to see and feel the size and complexity of a city like Bogota shows to them how far they were from that reality, and today they seek to understand the country and adapt their language and political proposals to this new world.
[…] they will have to shed concepts such as the socialization of the means of production and the dictatorship of the proletariat, which in their time allowed for a peasant insurrectionary movement to become a protagonist the twentieth century. Today, transforming ideologically is as formidable a challenge as laying down their weapons to engage in politics […]
The FARC will no longer have to lead the masses but to reach public opinion, attract, convince, and seduce it. If they insist on the old schemes, they will be locked out, they will have been ambushed. These traps are far more dangerous than past ones and from which they knew how to escape.
If they manage to catch up with the country and if they learn what levers to move so they can engage and formulate a broad, democratic program; if they learn how to speak to people in their language, understand their hopes and expectations and present their ideas in ways they can relate to, they will become a decisive actor in the future. Otherwise, they could lose everything and that could also mean for many Colombians to totally lose faith in a democratic and fair future.
Photo via Silla Vacía