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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Uribe and the conversion of Clovis Rossi


It has already been some time since the journalist Clóvis Rossi, member of the Publishing Council of Folha of Sao Paulo, surprised more attentive readers with the posture adopted in outstanding episodes of national and world-wide politics. No one understands the conversion of an intellectual who contributed to the struggle for the re-democratization of the country and in the criticism of the Davos and neo liberal globalization to his current positions more to the right, pampered by the Toucans, demons and the same types. This change reached its height in the recent invasion of Ecuador. The columnist so admired in the past, left any neutrality to be added to the reactionary chorus of the media in the absolution of the criminal Álvaro Uribe.

Bitter speech

In a bitter speech more appropriate for pitbulls Diogo Mainardi and Reinaldo Azevedo, demanded that the government take the hardest position against the Armed Revolutionary Force of Colombia (FARC). “It is going to have to be made clear that Brazil can and must be neutral between the two neighbors, but cannot nor must not be neutral between the Colombian (legitimate) government and FARC (delinquent group)... FARC has abandoned any whim of political action to the armed force road and they have become delinquents who live on drug trafficking and on money collected with kidnapping.”

Adopting the diversionary tactics of Uribe and Bush, he still took advantage to attack the “untimely“ Chávez and to criticize the government of Rafael Correa, “Colombia invading Ecuadorian territory is reprehensible. But it is worthwhile, even for Brazil, Carlos Malamud says: “The frontier government of Colombia was doing their work, protecting the borders and preventing the groups of delinquents from passing freely by its territories, so that actions such as those of Colombia are not necessary.” Is this a justification for Bush and Uribe’s “preventive war” against Brazil? If the Colombian government itself does not manage to discover and defeat FARC, which controls 40% of the territory, because President Correa would have all the conditions to “protect its borders”?

A war hawk

Clóvis Rossi, who was already more independent in the trade of journalism, simply did not touch the principal fact: Álvaro Uribe invaded a sovereign nation and made an attempt against international law, in an action rejected by Latin-American countries in the Summit of the Rio Group. He preferred to attack FARC, Chávez, Rafael Correa and Lula (target of his current obsession). As for FARC, Rossi stayed to the right of a right-winger, Nicolas Sarkozy. According to the French news agency, ”The number two of FARC, Raúl Reyes, was trying to arrange a meeting with the French president just as he was killed by Colombian troops.” The humanitarian exchange was aiming to free Ingrid Betancourt.

Rossi did not even hear the appeals of relatives of Ingrid Betancourt, former candidate to the presidency of the country who is in FARC captivity for six years. Lorenzo Delloye, her son, accused Uribe of "playing with the lives of the kidnapped and the honor of Colombia." Already her former-husband, Fabrice Delloye, admitted that FARC "shows a humanitarian vision" freeing six kidnapped and asking for more diplomacy to free the prisoners. A position much more balanced than of the hawk Clóvis Rossi, who rejects any negotiation with "delinquents," forgetting that the government of the U.S.A. itself already joined with guerrillas of FARC, and also with Raul Reyes, in 1998.

Advocate of drug traffickers

Besides rejecting the road of negotiation, or of a political exit from a war that has dragged on for 44 years, Rossi also cleared Uribe. He accuses the guerrillas of drug trafficking, but he speaks nothing of the well-known connections of the current president with the cocaine mafias and with paramilitaries. As an obstinate reader, he should read the book of the ex-lover of Pablo Escobar, Virginia Vallejo, the ex-television broadcaster. The work “Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar“ describes the connections of Uribe with the bloodthirsty leader of the Medellín Cartel. Another tip is to read the book of Joseph Contreras, Newsweek journalist. The 260 pages of the work El Señor of las Sombras is rich with information on the trajectory of Álvaro Uribe Vélez, proving that yes he is truly a drug trafficker.

A report of the US Department of Defense intelligence service, dated September 1991 and released to the public recently, lists 100 principal Colombians involved in the trafficking of cocaine to the USA. On page 82 of the document there appears information that should be valued by Clóvis Rossi: “Álvaro Uribe Vélez, politician and Colombian senator, devoted himself to collaboration with the Medellín Cartel in elevated levels of the government... Uribe worked for the cartel and he is a close friend of Pablo Escobar Gaviria.” His father, Alberto Uribe Sierra, became a prisoner and had his process of extradition to the USA denied thanks to the action of an influential son. A Medellín Cartel helicopter was used in the funeral of Uribe’s father.

A “legitimate” dictator

When clearing the "legitimate" Columbian government, Rossi also hides the reasons for the civil war in this country. In the 80’s, FARC had decided to participate in the political-electoral road and established the Patriotic Union (União Patriótica, UP). More than 600 militants of this front had been assassinated, including three presidential candidates and a senator. Harshly repressed, FARC returned to the jungles and guerrilla war. Contrary to what Rossi claims, Colombia does not have democracy. The International Organization of Labor (OIT), which has nothing to do with the left, certifies that this is the most violent country in the world against social movements. As of January 2001 to December of 2006, 2,245 syndical and different leaders had been assassinated and 138 disappeared. Huge "legitimacy" Uribe possesses!

As an organic intellectual of the right, Clóvis Rossi knows all these facts well. To quote them is to teach the mass to a vicar. It happens that the journalist seems to want to renounce his past and to be more realistic than the king, adopting more and more reactionary positions. Since Lula’s victory, this conversion has accelerated. His current hobby is to attack the left. As Venício de Lima registered, in the book "Media: political crisis and power in Brazil," Rossi arrived at the nonsense to find "fingers of PT" in the murder of mining electrician Jean Charles de Menezes in London, in September of 2005. Days after its emblematic column, the English government disclosed that the Brazilian entered that country legally as tourist in May of 2002. Lula alone took office in January of 2003.

In the text "feeble-minded & idiots," Valter Orchard, leader of PT, reacted at the end of 2007 to a column of Clóvis Rossi that attacked the "ideological patrols of the left" and defended Pablo Zotollo, president of Philips and leader of the coup-minded Cansei. The reply helps to decipher the conversion. "Who seems to have fear of the ideological patrol in Brazil is not the right, but yes a part of the intellectual'. He does not like to be considered of the right, nor conservative. But neither does he like to be considered of the left. He prefers to be above things, not having to side or to do politically difficult options... The crisis of socialism made things easy for this type of “intellectual.“ And the political concessions of PT seem to have made this `intellectual' conclude that he can also do a chorus with people of the right '. It is remarkable the anger with which he does this."

Altamiro Borges is a journalist, member of the Central Committee of the PCdoB and author of the book “As intersections of the trade unionism” (Publisher Anita Garibaldi, 2nd publication).

Translated by Lisa KARPOVA