In defence of Kim Howells
This is one of those posts guaranteed to make me unpopular (including with quite a few of my friends and close political allies on other issues), but I think Kim Howells should be applauded for standing up to Tribune et al over Colombia.
He may have been wrong to claim that Justice for Colombia supports the FARC narco-terrorists, but it's an easy mistake to make as their main campaign at the moment is to end UK military aid and training to the Colombian government, which would directly benefit FARC, the other participant in a civil war, and cuddly old Venezuela, which is busy threatening its neighbour with arms purchased from Russia, China etc.
Justice for Colombia, having clarified their position, ought to drop their biased campaign which would only help one side in the conflict (and would stop aspects of UK military training that are actually about inculcating respect for human rights in the Colombian armed forces) and give as much prominence to atrocities committed by FARC in their website and other materials as they do to those committed by rightwing paramilitaries. In both cases the victims are democratic politicians and trade unionists.
Their other key campaign, for the freeing of political prisoners, is laudable, but again ridiculously one-sided in making to mention of the political hostages - including a former presidential candidate - held prisoner by FARC.
It's a disappointing feature of the British left that otherwise sensible people glamorise or turn-a-blind-eye to the authoritarian left in Latin America - whether Cuba, Venezuela or FARC.
Incidentally, Colombia's President Uribe spent his entire career before winning the presidency as a member of the Liberal Party, which is Labour's longstanding sister party in the Socialist International, and the minority faction in the Liberal Party is in government with him.
I'm glad that the British Government is supporting the democratically elected government in Colombia.