Cuba insisted on Friday to the Colombian government to comply with the protocols and allow the delegation of dialogues of the guerrilla National Liberation Army (ELN) to leave Havana and return to their camps, after the breakdown of peace negotiations.
The ELN admitted responsibility for an attack against a police academy, which resulted in the death of 20 students and the perpetrator of the attack. The fact led the Colombian president, Iván Duque, to break the talks and ask the authorities to capture the members of the guerrilla delegation that participated in the dialogue table, whose headquarters were in Havana.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba reiterated its condemnation of all “terrorist practices” but “appeals to the Government of Colombia and the ELN, so that they adopt the pertinent actions that allow the return procedure of the ELN delegation to be applied. “in accordance with the letter of the protocol for such purposes.
As host and guarantor of the dialogues, Cuba recalled that, given the breakdown of the talks, “the countries and the parties will have 15 days from the announcement to plan and finalize the return to Colombia of the members representing the ELN delegation. ” This deadline, according to the head of the ELN delegation, Pablo Beltrán, expires on February 2.
Duke has also asked Cuba to hand over the members of the delegation. In response, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said that it sent a note to its Colombian counterparts “in which it recalls the commitments made by the Colombian government and the ELN.” He gave a copy to the other guarantor countries, which are Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and Norway.
It further details that the presence of the ELN delegation in Cuba responded to an official request from the negotiating parties, and that it was established as a condition that their presence be uniquely and strictly to negotiate peace.
Cuba hosted the dialogue table since May of last year, after Ecuador desisted to continue as headquarters. The talks advanced until the departure of President Juan Manuel Santos, Nobel Peace Prize winner, for having reached an agreement that demobilized and turned the FARC guerrilla into a political party.
With the possession of Iván Duque in August, the talks were suspended, since the new president considered that his predecessor had had too many concessions with the ELN. Before continuing, he asked them to end their activities and deliver the hostages they were holding. Until January 18 of this year, the day of the attack, the talks had not resumed.
The ELN has some 1,800 combatants and an extensive support network. It claims a nationalist policy and is next to dissident FARC and drug gangs of paramilitary origin, the main security challenge facing Colombia.
The chancellor of Colombia, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, responded to the Cuban request and reiterated the position of the government of Iván Duque that the members of the ELN delegation that is in Cuban territory be captured and extradited.
“Government Duke insists, with respect, the Government of Cuba to capture the ELN terrorists who are in their territory and put them at the disposal of the authorities so that they may respond to justice for the atrocious terrorist attack whose authorship they recognized,” Trujillo wrote. in your Twitter account.