FARC-EP Commander in Chief, Timoleón Jiménez, greeted those present. Photo: Revista Semana

Cartagena de las Indias, Co­lombia.—“War is over, we are starting to build peace. We welcome this second opportunity on Earth,” stated FARC-EP Commander in Chief Timoleón Jiménez, during his remarks at the official Peace Accords signing ceremony, which put an end to over 50 years of conflict in Colombia.
From Cartagena de las Indias, where the event took place - with various heads of state and government of the region in attendance - the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army stated that peace for Colombia means peace for Our America.
He noted that the agreements established over almost four years of talks, which began in Havana, in November 2012, reaffirm the declaration approved at the Second Community of Latin American and Caribbean States Summit held in the Cuban capital, in which the region was proclaimed a Zone of Peace.
He also thanked the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro and Army General Raúl Castro, president of the Councils of State and Ministers, for the role played by the island in peace efforts.
He recalled similar efforts made by eternal Comandante Hugo Chá­vez and thanked President Ni­colás Maduro for continuing his work.
At another point during his speech, Timoleón Jiménez noted that the signing of a final peace agreement represented a victory for FARC-EP, as well as all the previous processes.
We must admit that our goal of seeking a political solution to this conflict found a valuable partner in President Juan Manuel San­tos, able to avoid pressure and provocation, stated the FARC-EP Commander in Chief.
These agreements represent a breath of fresh air for Colombia’s poorest and for the youth that carries the future of the homeland on their shoulders, stated Timoleón Jiménez. Nonetheless, he added that the step taken by guerrilla forces does not mean that they have renounced the ideals which they continue to defend, but rather, “We decided to take our struggle to the political sphere, to open confrontation, through ideas.
“The signing (of the agreement) doesn’t mean capitalism and socialism have begun to tearfully reconcile in each other’s arms; we have agreed to continue confronting them openly in the political arena, without violence,” he emphasized.
The FARC Commander in Chief also reaffirmed before those gathered that their voices “will continue to resound against the injustices of capitalism.” In this regard he called for a structural reform of Colombian society, in order to eradicate poverty and inequality. “Here, today we seal our commitment to peace and reconciliation,” he noted.
The agreements represent a light of hope for the future of the entire country, stated Ti­moleón Jiménez.
“The key going forward is in the implementation of the agreements, in such a way that what has been written on paper comes to life in reality. We are going to comply and we hope that the government also complies,” he emphasized.
Later, during the most emotional moment of his speech, Ti­moleón Jiménez apologized to victims of the conflict on behalf of the FARC-EP, “for all the pain that we may have caused during this war.”
The entire country loves their children and is looking with hope to a future of peace for them, this has been our constant search, highlighted Jiménez who dedicated his opening remarks to the Colombian people, “who have always dreamed of this day and never given up hope in building the homeland of the future.”
In regards to the recently concluded 10th FARC National Conference, he stated that the Havana Accords were unanimously approved during the event. “Let no one doubt that we are moving toward politics without arms, let us all prepare to disarm our minds and our hearts.
“Now all that remains is international verification of that which has been agreed.”
Timoleón Jiménez went on to state, “Colom­bia hopes that with the reduction in public spending on the war, there will no longer be any reason for boys and girls to continue dying of hunger, malnutrition, or curable diseases.
“After hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of victims, upon signing this document I say to you, Mr. President, with patriotic spirit, that this was indeed the right path, yes, it was,” stated an emotional Timoleón Jiménez.
He also recalled that the key to the success of the agreement lies in its implementation, and ensuring that what has been established is done.
“Democracy and dignity for centuries upon centuries,” repeated Ji­mé­nez on more than one occasion, while also noting that “the sowing of peace has only just begun,” noting, “We are rolling out a new era of reconstruction and reconciliation of peace.”
During his remarks Ti­moleón Jiménez paid tribute to all those killed in the struggle for peace, and in other nations of the world needing to achieve peace, such as the people of Israel, Palestine, and Syria.