Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has criticized the Biden administration over its reported plan to remove a Colombian communist rebel group from the list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, calling it “an insult” to the Colombian American community in his state.
Financed by extortion, kidnapping, and a billion-dollar cocaine trafficking operation, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) waged a guerrilla war against the nation for more than a half-century until 2016, when the far-left rebels signed a peace deal that’s still being implemented. The decades long conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions more, including many families who settled in Florida.
In response to a recent report that the U.S. Department of State is planning to remove FARC from its international terrorist list, DeSantis called the move a “reckless decision,” noting that the group “perpetuated countless murders, bombings, assassinations, kidnapping and attacks” in the name of redistribution of wealth.
“Biden’s policy is an insult to members of the Colombian American community, many of whom fled that terrorist group’s barbaric attacks on civilians,” the Republican governor said. “This is a serious mistake by the Biden administration and will hurt Floridians.”
He also argued that the move could “embolden terrorist groups throughout Latin America,” empower narco-traffickers, and pave the way for a revival of left-wing authoritarian Castro-Chavezism in Colombia.
DeSantis’s criticism was echoed by U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in an attempt to unseat DeSantis as governor in 2022. The former-governor-turned-congressman said FARC has earned its designation as a terrorist group for causing “decades of war and death.”
“I join Colombians across Florida and our nation, deeply troubled by reports that the State Department is considering removing FARC from the list of international terrorist organizations,” Crist said in a statement. “It should not earn its legitimacy from the United States without the advice and consent from the community who call America home.”
By GQ Pan