One Hundred Years of Solitude or Solidarity? Colombia's Forgotten Revolution

  • Oliver Villar Charles Sturt University (CSU)
  • Drew Cottle University of Western Sydney (UWS)
Keywords Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Imperialism, Revolution, FARC


Why is Colombia simply a ‘black hole’ on the Latin American continent, if not the globe and the existing academic literature? A nation which for more than half a century has struggled against an authoritarian oligarchy, maybe the last in Latin America, but comparable only to the United States government backed military juntas of the 1960s-1980s? Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s famous work ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ well described the enforced silence that has prevailed throughout Colombia’s history. This paper examines a ‘forgotten’ war of liberation, a revolutionary war of the 21st century and the forces of US imperialism. It is a ‘discontinuous’ war of many wars traceable to the Wars of Independence against Spain. This war is waged by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP), Latin America’s oldest and most powerful Marxist-Leninist rebel organisation. The goal of the FARC is to establish a revolutionary socialist state.

The paper argues that despite the US global ‘War on Terrorism’ and the ‘end of history’ dominant paradigm, the Colombian struggle is unique as it cannot be compared to the revolutionary wars in Tsarist Russia, Republican China, or Cuba. The Colombian revolution must be understood in the context of the 21st century, a complex era without a socialist camp in existence or an international communist movement in its place. An era of ‘revolutionary’ elections and ‘democratic’ exile where movements like the FARC ‘should not exist.’ We conclude that the FARC’s success highlights the fallacy of the imperial premise surrounding the revolutionary movement and all facets of Colombian political reality.

Author Biographies

Oliver Villar, Charles Sturt University (CSU)
Oliver Villar es profesor de ciencias políticas en la Universidad Charles Sturt. Oliver Villar ha publicado ampliamente sobre el narcotráfico de cocaína Interamericana, la guerra de Estados Unidos contra la droga y el terror en Colombia y las relaciones E.E.U.U.-Colombia. Oliver es coautor del libro, Cocaína, Escuadrones de la Muerte y la Guerra Contra el Terror: El Imperialismo Norteamericano y la Lucha de Clases en Colombia, que es un estudio de la economía política de Colombia, cocaína y el estado imperial de Estados Unidos y la guerra de clase en que se base la política del comercio de cocaína colombiana.
Drew Cottle, University of Western Sydney (UWS)
Drew Cottle es un profesor mayor de ciencias política en la Universidad de Western Sydney. El ha escrito extensamente sobre economía política internacional y luchas revolucionarias del tercer mundo. Su libro, La Línea de Brisbane: Una Re-Evaluación fue un estudio de rivalidad inter-imperialistas y posible colaboración en Australia antes de la guerra del Pacífico. Drew Cottle es coautor de Cocaína, Escuadrones de la Muerte y la Guerra Contra el Terror.
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