The political party of former guerrilla group FARC has introduced the red rose to Colombia’s politics, abandoning communist for social democratic symbolism.
Whether this means the FARC will be promoting social democratic rather than communist principles is uncertain; this will be determined by the group’s newly elected political leadership.
The newly found political party has refused to abandon its acronym long associated with the former guerrilla group’s armed attempt to revolution inspired by the late Fidel Castro.
The party also insists it is a “revolutionary force,” making it easy to associate the FARC’s ultimate goals with autocratic regimes like that of Fidel’s Cuba and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
Both Cuba and Venezuela have become synonym for the non-democratic interpretation of Karl Marx introduced in the early 20th century by Vladimir Lenin in what would later become the Soviet Union.
The FARC’s former political party, the Clandestine Communist Party of Colombia (PCCC), waved the soviet hammer and sickle for decades.
The PCCC was formally dissolved last week and the communist symbolism was abandoned.
The newly adopted rose is a symbol associated with moderate and broadly accepted social democratic parties across Europe and in Argentina.
Unlike Cuba and Venezuela, Europe and Argentina’s “red” parties have been part of the democratic political establishment for more than half a century.
In Great Britain, for example, the rose has been used by the Labour Party. In Argentina, it has been used by the Socialist Party. Neither party is interested in absolute control over the state like in Cuba and Venezuela.
In fact, the collectivist nature of the FARC’s political party is less hierarchical than Colombia’s traditional parties that have long been firmly controlled by political elites.
This does not mean, however, that the FARC’s members will necessarily want the party to remain true to democratic principles like pluralism.
It just means the party wants to be “the voice of the excluded, of those without a voice, those who live in misery,” as newly-elected party leader Luciano Marin, better known as “Ivan Marquez,” told press in mid August.