Not much was made of the news elsewhere when the Biden administration unveiled its plan to delist a Columbian rebel group from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. However, this was not the case with Florida, which is home to almost 150,000 Columbian American voters.
The decision is not sitting well with a number of top Democrat bureaucrats serving in the state itself. Many supporters, strategists, and activists too have spoken against the move.
A Columbian American Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, said, “This is terrible. It’s bad policy. It’s bad politics,” she also referred to the act as ‘outrageous’ and took onto Twitter and recounted how she fled her home country when she was a minor “because of the Marxist terrorist organization, FARC, a group of militias who kidnapped my father who was a WWII American fighter pilot.”
“This is terrible. It’s bad policy. It’s bad politics,” said Florida state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who’s Colombian American.
Calling the news “outrageous” https://t.co/wvZIu2sE2m
— Annette Taddeo (She/Her/Ella) (@Annette_Taddeo) November 25, 2021
Many living in the Miami-Dade area strike a similar tune with her. The county hosts a huge number of Hispanic voters and Latin American people who came here in exile, to flee their homeland due to the outbreak of violent dictatorships. There was a huge influx of population from Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and forming a community in Florida.
With the wounds still afresh in the minds of Colombian Americans, of the hundreds of thousands of lives being turned upside down by killings, and displacing nationals by the millions the decision comes as a shocker. In 2016 when the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, the Marxist rebels struck a peace accord, which is yet to see complete implementation the reaction from the community was mixed.
While many to date want an absolute boycott of the group with no ties attached, for the loss they had caused previously. They are vehemently opposed to their acceptance into society in any form.
The officials have been defending the action as the State Department believes that the rebel group has disintegrated, and adhered to their side of the bargain as per the accord to a large extent. However, a small fraction remains active and works to destabilize normalcy in Columbia.
An official said “This isn’t pulling back punches. It’s pointing them in the right direction — and that’s the [FARC dissidents and their] terrorist and criminal activity.”