Republicans question lifting Columbian rebel group FARC's terrorism designation
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The Biden administration is facing criticism over reports that the United States government is preparing to remove the Colombian rebel group FARC from its list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The U.S. State Department, according to Reuters, told Congress on Tuesday of the plan to delist FARC, five years after the rebel group signed a peace agreement with the Colombian government.
Members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas are seen at the "Alfonso Artiaga" Front 29 FARC encampment in a rural area of Policarpa, department of Narino in southwestern Colombia, on January 17, 2017. (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)
"President Biden’s delisting of the #FARC as a foreign terrorist organization undermines U.S. security interests and stability in #Colombia and only serves as a gift to the criminal Maduro regime in #Venezuela," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Sen. Jim Risch tweeted Tuesday. "The administration should reverse course."
"Prematurely lifting #FARC’s designation as a terrorist organization is an exercise in appeasement," the Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee added on Twitter. "They have not exercised remorse or acts of contrition for their ongoing narco-terrorism against innocent Colombians & Americans. Our regional allies deserve better from this admin."
Alfonso Cano, who was the FARC commander until he was killed in November of 2011. (AP2000)
State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed the U.S. had informed Congress of an action it was taking with regard to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, widely known by its acronym, FARC. Price refused to say what that action was, however.
FARC fought for a half-century in an era of devastating political violence in Colombia, carrying out bombings, assassinations, kidnappings and attacks in the name of redistributing wealth to Colombia’s poor.
U.S. President Joe Biden announces the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a coordinated effort with other major economies to help ease rising gas prices as he delivers remarks on the economy and "lowering prices," during a speech in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building?s South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
The group signed a peace deal in 2016 and in 2018 took part in a U.N.-supervised decommissioning of the last of its accessible weapons. Price called the peace deal a "seminal turning point in some ways in the long-running Colombia conflict."
Associated Press contributed to this report