Former Cuban President Fidel Castro and Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba discussed peace and the threat of war in South America during a meeting in Havana Thursday.
Following the meeting Castro commented that “unity with the Colombian people is a factor of great importance in the fight to avoid the collapse of humanity in a nuclear explosion.”
As well as discussing peace and regional issues with the Cuban leader, Cordoba also presented Castro, who celebrates his 84th birthday on Friday, with several books on history and current affairs in Colombia. In return the senator received an autographed copy of Castro’s book “The Strategic Victory.”
On Sunday Cordoba will meet with Castro again to discuss the road to peace in Colombia.
Cordoba, who leads activist group Colombians for Peace, is also president of the Colombian Congress’ Peace Commission. She announced Monday that she would present a peace proposal involving Colombian guerrilla groups to South American regional body UNASUR.
However the new government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos shot down her plan, declaring that it would not recognize peace talks with the guerrilla which are not authorized through official channels
Cordoba arrived in Havana Wednesday. Her meeting with Castro is the latest in a series of talks she has held to promote her peace initiative. Recently she has met with Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.
In the past, Cordoba has been involved in several negotiations for the release of FARC-held hostages and campaigned in Europe to win support for a prisoner swap of FARC captives for incarcerated guerrillas.
The Colombians for Peace leader was forced to cut her European tour short and return to Colombia to face accusations of “FARC-politics.” Colombian Supreme Court President Jaime Arrubla said recently that the charges lack conclusive evidence.
The senator was last in Cuba in March 2008, along with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the mother of then-FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt.