Fidel Castro added his two cents to the media maelstrom surrounding the recent rescue of Colombian Politician Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other prisoners. The former president of Cuba has called on the guerrilla rebel FARC movement to release all remaining hostages. Although he adamantly stated that the rebel group should not end their revolt and peacefully lay down their weapons, he criticized the, “cruel methods of kidnapping and holding prisoners in the jungle.” Fidel’s revolution in Cuba was the spark that ignited the flame of the FARC rebel movement. Despite this, Castro had some choice words for the leaders of rebellion, “If I may dare to suggest something to the FARC guerrillas, it is that they simply, by whatever means at their disposal, declare that they have unconditionally freed all the hostages and prisoners still under their control.”
Warren Bull, a BBC Americas analyst believes the rebels just may take the advice of the man who provided them with revolutionary inspiration. Considering the current state of disarray within the FARC movement, this could be the smartest move to guarantee their long-term survival. Many family members of hostages still being held by the rebels are
worried that the remaining captives may be forgotten in all the
excitement surrounding Ingrid Betancourt's recent release. After six years in captivity, Betancourt has been issued a clean bill of health. The newly freed Colombian-French politician was back home with her children in Paris, France this past Friday. She is considering writing a play about her years in captivity.
Castro isn’t the only one who has something to say about the rescue of Betancourt. Colombian native Shakira expressed her happiness for Betancourt, describing her as a symbol of suffering and the struggle for peace. “It’s a historical day for us, so that our country which has suffered so much can now cry with excitement and look towards the future and joy that unites us with a giant embrace,” Shakira said in a statement. “Colombia stands tall and looks with hope towards a future of peace that is fast approaching.” In addition, Madrileño singer Alejandro Sanz dedicated his Rock in Rio performance to the recently freed Colombiana.