A Chance for Peace in Colombia: Chavez calls on the FARC to stand down

This is excellent news for Colombia. Whatever the true nature of Hugo Chavez' relationship with the FARC (and other guerrilla in Colombia), he clearly has weight with them and he has stunningly reversed his vocal position on the armed Leftist struggle in his neighbor to the west. Saying that "at this moment in Latin America, an armed movement is out of place," Chavez was able both to affirm the appropriateness of armed uprising while relegating it to the past. His strategy, it appears, is to avoid invalidating the struggles and choices of the guerrilla, rather than backing them into an intransigent corner by denigrating untempered criticism (which would also vitiate Chavez' leftist credentials and impair his ability to speak for/to them).

Perhaps this signals a broader move, on both the left and the right, in Latin America against militarism as the preferred first response.

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