Tanja Nijmeijer, the Dutch internationalist fighter that is part of the insurgent FARC-EP in Colombia, also known as “Eileen” or “Alexandra” and who for more than 11 years ago of the oldest guerrilla Americas, today Havana, Cuba being part of the peace commission of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia being conducted talks with the Colombian government, gave an interview to the French media Oulala.
Tanja, used to carrying her gun and dressed in her olive green uniform, her new job today in Havana with his fellow peace delegation of the FARC-EP where everyone does everything, has granted an exclusive interview for Europe. On this occasion, she expressed her views on the economic crisis in the old continent, its future staff in the event of a peace agreement in Colombia, and delivers a message to women and impoverished European Community .
The following is a reproduction of the exclusive interview she gave to with Julio Jiménez Eliécer in her words verbatim. The interview was held in Havana, in Spanish and translated into English. Editor’s note: We have done our best in the translation, we apologize to our readers for any errors.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – Tanja as European who has decided to integrate the insurgency Colombian FARC-EP, you have participated in two facets of this life, first guerrilla base, fighting in the jungles and mountains Colombia, and now as integral dialogue group in Havana. What experience you may get while Europeans think it is a problem that only affects Colombians?
Tanja Nijmeijer – I think any citizen of the world has the right and the duty to express its solidarity with the struggle of peoples. The United States of North America have always shown great “solidarity” class, even with war criminals like Alvaro Uribe, and this, no one is shocked. We must redress the balance with a genuine solidarity which can not express in dollars or technology, ethical and moral solidarity with the suffering of others.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – How Europeans can contribute to “save” the current peace talks have so many enemies?
Tanja Nijmeijer – During the long years of the “Plan Patriota” media space was completely closed to us. They waged war on all fronts, not just with bombs and bullets, but also through the media. This is a state policy of mass indoctrination and gradually many people, especially in urban areas where they do not have much contact with us, have come to believe that we, the guerrillas, we are terrible war machines, we attack and massacring the civilian without meeting a person that we act without personal interests and ideals. In sum, a caricature of terrorists at the heart of stone.
Basically, the enemies of the dialogues are few, the vast majority of Colombians are tired of the conflict and seek peace, but with social justice. The enemies of the dialogue are those who, in one way or another, take a juicy profit from the war. We need to show that those who, like us, seek peace, there are many more, and that in all possible spaces. I think it is important to implement a process of awareness in Europe, primarily directed towards a better understanding of the causes of conflict and armed struggle in Colombia. And second, to raise awareness of the fact that peace in Colombia affects us all.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – The European Union maintains the status of “terrorist organization” by the FARC-EP. How to get that changed to facilitate the path to peace in Colombia?
Tanja Nijmeijer – Sometimes I think that the historical memory of the old continent is a RAM (volatile). During World War II, the Nazis called “terrorists” who had the courage to rebel against them. In fact, this is where I got really modern usage of the term “terrorist”. Individuals who, like us, struggling against the policy (economic) power, have always been stigmatized before they spoke communists, red, gangsters, thugs … The no shortage. And, in most cases, the history was responsible for revealing the true intentions behind these campaigns. The fact that the Colombian government to come sit in Havana, to talk with us, he shows not our condition of political organization? A dialogue of this nature is only possible with a political organization with ideas and plans, a unified organization fighting for a common policy objective.
It is clear that the blacklist of terrorist organizations respond more to economic, geopolitical states and corporations (which are those today who hold the real power) to the humanitarian concern to maintain peace in the world. It is the people organized and aware of just cause that motivates us to exert pressure and managements to ensure that its leaders finally obey them.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – Europeans generally believe that armed struggle is part of the past, especially in the case of a European. What message would you give to people who feel that?
Tanja Nijmeijer – From the European context it is very difficult to soak up the conflict in Colombia and understand the need for the armed struggle. You should know that the political class, the ruling class does not behave the same in all countries. In Colombia, the plan was exceptionally bloody and cruel, since its inception. The era of violence that gives rise to vigilante groups such as farmers, constants – and still current – executions of political leaders or the Democrats left the political genocide of more than 5000 members Patriotic Union in the 80s, etc … The FARC is a political organization that grew out of these vigilante groups peasants who had no other option but to take up arms to protect the life and dignity. This is the first point of our platform control: a political solution to the serious conflict that the country lives. Guns are our guarantee to save our lives, but as soon as we confirm that there are real guarantees for our political participation, economic and social, they lose their function.
When my participation in this struggle, is rather surprising that the massive involvement of Etast States in this war does not wake all judgments from the media, as they concern both because of some internationalists have decided to side with the common people in any corner of the world, against the aggression of the dominant forces. Because I’m not the only one, or neither among the FARC in the world. For me it is a moral duty, which is not normal it is to sit and do nothing.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – What is actually your work in peace commission FARC-EP in Havana?
Tanja Nijmeijer – Strangely, we never asked this question the other member of the Delegation for Peace. We are a team really too small to perform all the tasks á a mission like ours. Therefore, we must do everything. Functions are very different from the discussions from the Table Conversations to the different tasks of a technical nature. We provide absolutely all ideas, aimed at finding the path to Peace with Social Justice.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – In the event that he will be back in action in the Colombian mountains, this experience would it change your form action? And if that were the case, what would change?
Tanja Nijmeijer – For me, paradoxical as it may be, there is not much difference between the physical fight in the jungle and the process of dialogues in Havana. We Guerrillas, receive training politico – military, in our daily life there are always two sides. There is a song las FARC said: “With or without gun rifle / as they want, we fight / we are building / to talk or fight” . And thus: in the political debate and the struggle there ambushes both sides, there are snipers, grenade falls sometimes close, and you must react quickly to avoid injury.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – What vision do you have on the social crisis, economic and political lives of Europe?
Tanja Nijmeijer – The crisis was inevitable. It is the evolution of a system that is already on the scaffold, condemned to a certain death. We should all be aware of this before it is too late. This is, without doubt, the opportunity for people to reinvent a more just and equitable society. I know that the poorest in Europe are those who pay the piper, but they are the majority and they are the ones who can change the system if they can understand that they are no different peoples of the misnamed “Third World”, on whose backs they live long enough.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – What is the output this crisis? What message are you sending to all organizations, leaders and people in general, engaged in the struggle to improve the system of life in Europe?
Tanja Nijmeijer – They never allow themselves to absorb or dispose of the system. You are part of this great group called citizens of the world, and we must fight together. The crisis can not and must be resolved by expansionary policies that tend to improve transiently, the standard of living of the population of one country or continent, at the expense of plunder and submission of others. The only lasting solution is to create another system, based on solidarity and equality of living conditions for all people.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – If these dialogues resulted in a positive way, what will you do? You will remain in Colombia for a legal political life? You will return to Europe to policy? Or you go live quietly in your country and you forget all your history in Colombia?
Tanja Nijmeijer – Actually this is not my decision. I believe that if we sign a peace agreement, if we get some real guarantees to give meaning to political action, the real work begins for us as a political movement. And I’ll be there, available for any task that would require British. My commitment is with the Colombian people, it is unconditional and for an indefinite time.
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – What message do you give to women who are struggling in the European continent?
Tanja Nijmeijer – Forward! it’s worth it. You are not alone, we support you and we admire your courage and your efforts. Women have a lot á provided. Á They have everything to win, whatever the level of the struggle among the peoples. I am always delighted when I see in the world, so many women combative, determined who dare to break patterns. Their struggle is not against men, but with them on an equal condition. I always wanted to be the height of these courageous women that cause, in my opinion, a great admiration and give me the strength to continue the struggle. I cite, for example: Policarpa Salavarrieta , Manuelita Sáenz , Maria Cano , Olga Benario , many resistant World War II, the internationalists of the Spanish Civil War, all guerrilla FARC, and many other …
Julio Jiménez Eliécer – Is there something you would like to express the Colombian people and the world in general?
Tanja Nijmeijer -With the global crisis that extends to all humanity, we face a serious and imminent threat. Capitalism is in decline. A beast, wounded to death, is very dangerous. The only way to save it is to face it all together to give the coup de grace. Almost two centuries ago Simon Bolivar said: “America, we are invincible and we deserve respect; isolated and divided we perish”.
And it was then understood, now become an urgent necessity.