American Elections, Colombian Peace

Submitted by admin on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 01:22

At a FARC camp.

 

Dear Friends,

Good news out of Cartagena, Colombia, where the FARC and the State signed a peace deal ending a 52 year civil war. But matters are still on the edge. This Sunday, on 2 October, the people of Colombia will go to the polls to vote on a referendum towards peace. A lot rests on this vote. It will be a dangerous situation if the vote goes against peace, although the mood suggests that peace is inevitable.

My report in Alternet is on the peace deal, between the signature and the referendum. The last paragraph is here:

  • October 2nd is Gandhi’s birthday. It is a fitting day for the referendum. If the Colombian people vote No, then they would not only have voted against the peace deal but against the possibility of a new kind of Colombia. A vote Si–Yes–would signal that Colombia, as Eslava said to me, is ‘ready to stand on the right side of history’.

You can read the report here.

In this week's Frontline, I have a report on the US elections. This was written long before the first debate between Clinton and Trump although it could very well have been written an hour ago. The report ends,

  • In November, Americans will enter the polling booths. They will vote out of fear of the candidate they dislike. Significant issues that are before American society will not be on the table. No one is going to seriously entertain the questions that bother ordinary Americans who sit with their chequebooks at the kitchen table and wonder about job security, children’s education, prices of essential commodities, the vacations they cannot take and their dreams of a better life. Only shadows of these concerns will enter the stump speeches of the presidential candidates. Trust in the political process is naturally at a low point. Hands will rush to drop the ballots into the boxes, but this haste should not be mistaken for enthusiasm. It is a sign of frustration.

You can read all of it here. The picture above is taken at a FARC camp.

In the next issue of Frontline, I have a letter from Portugal. That will be out in ten days.

Meanwhile, at the LeftWord Books blog, there is a short interview with Professor Chaman Lal on Bhagat Singh. Please find that here. Hope you've been to our blog often. Coming up, PMS Grewal on the question of fascism in India. And after that Martin Macwan and Manjula Pradeep on the attack on Navsarjan as well as on the Dalit Resistance after Una.

Warmly, Vijay.