Fidel Castro happy with Betancourt’s liberation, decries FARC action

July 5th, 2008 - 1:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Havana, July 5 (IANS) Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has expressed his happiness over the rescue of former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other people held hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) insurgents and decried hostage-taking as unjustifiable. “Out of a basic sense of humanity, we were pleased to hear the news that Ingrid Betancourt, three American citizens and other captives had been freed,” EFE reported Saturday quoting Castro in an article released Thursday on the government web page Cubadebate.

Betancourt and 14 other hostages were liberated by the Colombian army’s commando group Wednesday in a dramatic mission.

“Civilians never should have been kidnapped, nor the soldiers kept as prisoners in jungle conditions. Those were objectively cruel actions,” said Castro, the author of Cuba’s 1959 revolution that unseated the Fulgenico Batista regime.

“No revolutionary purpose could justify it,” added the Cuban leader who stepped down last February owing to poor health.

He said that after the triumph of the 1959 revolution “the prisoners were immediately released without any condition”.

The left radical guerrilla group FARC, fighting successive elected Colombian governments for over 40 years, has been holding many high-profile hostages for years to press Bogota to swap with hundreds of their jailed compatriots.

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