Take physic, pomp

Colombia votes NO to the peace agreement: President Juan Manuel Santos speaks

President Juan Manuel Santos has just addressed his nation on the shock “NO” result to the Colombia/FARC peace agreement. Among other things he said that as Head of State, he is the guarantor of the stability of the nation and this result will not affect the country. The cease fire agreement remains in effect and will remain in effect. Tomorrow he will invoke all political groups to listen to them and find a way forward and will re-open the dialogue with the FARC negotiators. He said he has a new opportunity to move forward and find points in common, but all must all work together in order to find a way forward. His final message was that he will not give in and will continue to work for the peace of the nation until the last day of his government.
Meanwhile, the head of the FARC spoke a few minutes before Santos addressed the nation and said that they were still committed to finding a peaceful solution and would “maintain words as their weapons”. That’s a reasonably good sign.

Finally, I just heard on Colombian radio that as soon as the tendency became clear and the momentum was with the NO side, the main player in the NO campaign, ex-president Álvaro Uribe, got in contact with all his allies in the NO campaign and told them all, “Do not celebrate this result” and told them all to pass the message down the political lines. That’s also a reasonably positive reaction, one that will make negotiations easier in the next couple of days.

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