Colombia: Jesse Jackson as FARC mediator? Not so fast, says Santos
Former Marine Kevin Scott Sutay, an American vacationing in Colombia, was taken hostage last June by the Marxist-drug guerrilla FARC.
Jackson inserted himself in the matter two weeks ago during a global forum of black leaders in Colombia, when he called on the guerrillas to free the American.
Jackson, speaking in Havana where he met on Friday night with Colombian rebel commanders who are in Cuba for peace talks with the Bogota government, said he hoped to arrive in Colombia within a week to facilitate the release of Kevin Scott Sutay.
“We accept this obligation and opportunity to render service to Kevin Scott, his family and our nation,” Jackson said. “We have made contact with the State Department urging them to contact as quickly as possible the nearest of kin of Kevin Scott because his release is imminent.”
Jackson is on a private visit to communist-run Cuba that is being hosted by the Council of Churches.
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos has rejected proposed mediation by US civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson over a rebel-held hostage.
Mr Santos said only the Red Cross would be allowed to be involved, because he did not want “a media spectacle”.
“Only the Red Cross will be authorized to facilitate the release of the North American kidnapped by FARC. We won’t allow a media circus”:
Solamente Cruz Roja será autorizada para facilitar entrega de norteamericano secuestrado por las FARC. No permitiremos espectáculo mediático
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) September 28, 2013
Reaching new heights of hypocrisy, The Farc say they want to free Mr Scott to boost peace talks. Well, it’s their hostage, they’re holding him, release him, then, if they’re so keen on “boosting peace talks.”