Havana, Jul 13 (RHC) Commander Pablo Beltran, negotiator for the Colombian National Liberation Army (ELN), assured that they are in Havana on a peace mission and none of the 10 members of the delegation was involved in the attack on the Santander General Police Cadet School of Bogota carried out more than a year ago.
In statements to the press, he affirmed that they are totally detached from any question of military operations; “Neither by communications nor by command, we have to do with that, because it was the commitment we made with the two governments, the Colombian and the Cuban.”
Regarding the argument of the Colombian government to request the extradition of some of the members of the delegation as a result of the attack, Beltran explained that they arrived in Cuba in May 2018 and when they went to install the new government they were told to stay here, they would look what the other government left and they would restart.
He affirmed that in Havana there is no member of the General Staff of the guerrilla organization, and mentioned that the ELN’s military officer is Antonio Garcia, who was in Havana in negotiations, but 15 years ago.
After the attack on the Cadet School, which on January 17, 2019, cost the lives of 22 students and the attacker himself, Colombian President Ivan Duque decided to break the peace talks with the ELN guerrillas and reactivate the orders of Capture against the members of the delegation, in Cuba since May 2018.
The position of the Cuban authorities to respect the protocol for breaking the talks between the Colombian Government and the ELN, and the decision not to extradite the guerrillas, are used to question and manipulate Cubas role as guarantor of the peace process.
Last week the Cuban Government ratified its decision to maintain for the moment its condition as guarantor of the implementation of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army.
We hope that the State of that South American country recognizes the validity of the agreements signed with other states and complies with those commitments, in particular with the protocol for breaking the dialogue with the ELN, said Rogelio Sierra, Cuban Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. (PL)