Ingrid Betancourt has been rescued, along the 3 US hostages and another 11 Colombian military

[updated regularly as her press conference goes on]

Not much comment needed in here. The FARC has lost its 4 major assets. It seems that Uribe pulled A MAJOR intelligence coup to con the FARC. And as observers such as this blogger wrote often enough, the FARC did not even have the intelligence to free them before the Colombian army rescued them or they died in their hands. Talk about stubborn stupidity. The FARC was not even able to cash on when Chavez bailed out on them.

As for Chavez, we can add a new meaning to "betting on the wrong horse". Guerrilla. Whatever.

How many votes do you think Uribe will win his referendum with? Note, I think it is a terrible idea for him to seek an extension of his term, but heck, if the FARC is helping him along……

Update: although there is nothing as complete in English yet as the Universal note I linked to above we can find some stuff. El Universal has a summary translated of its scoop of sorts. Simon Romero of the NYT is already up with some info. Though the Washington Post has more, of US interest. Of course, based on Google news search, the BBC beat them all, in news and details and even with a form for you to fill up to express your emotions.

Update 2: I cannot tell you how thrilling it was to see Ingrid getting down the Colombian Air Force plane. And she behaved already as a future presidential candidate, not letting her mother run the show (after of course the emotional first encounter) . Ingrid is her own woman and we are not done with her, fortunately. She, like Mandela and soon Aung San Suu Kyi, are coming stronger, bigger than life out of their ordeal. Fascinating years are ahead of us.

Ingrid Betancourt: "Gracias al presidente Uribe que se las supo jugar por nosotros". Thanks to president Uribe who knew how to play his hand for us.

'nuf said.

Ingrid Betancourt 2: She just said that one of the best things that happened to Colombia was the reelection, which allowed Uribe to be reelected. She said it as such, because according to her the FARC knew that within 4 years they would be rid of a sitting president but when Uribe was reelected it brought also continued pressure on them which started their downfall. She said that she agreed with him even if on some points she had other ideas. She also had he Mother thank Uribe in spite of all her fight with him and all her kowtowing to Chavez. Ingrid is smart, she is aware and SHE IS A STATESWOMAN. Again, be prepared to hear more from her.

Ingrid 3: Notice that she does not forget to speak in French on occasion. An impeccable French of course. And French TV is glued to her words.

And meanwhile back at ABN: And how is the Chavez government seeing the hostage rescue? Let's look at ABN, the official news agency. Well, first it is a "liberation of retained people". The wooden political speech trying to minimize as much as possible the horror of the FARC keeps going on. But observe how quick today they are reporting and how many articles they put up when usually there is a significant delay between MSM and BM (bolibanana media) when they need to put up some spin. Were they waiting for such news or did they realize that they could not be picky on their timing this time? I counted at least half a dozen items, as much as El Universal!

The ABN items include an interview from a sympathetic senator stating that the role of Chavez is far from done. Sure.... The ABN also feels obliged to underline the effectiveness of the Colombian army operation. As if they had a choice... Then the ABN saw the three US hostages go down the airplane, when in fact they were already on their way to the US. ABN needs to watch something else than VTV...

Catching TeleSur: according to the woman anchor, the "retenidos" suffered very much of their distance with their relatives, no word about the "retention" conditions. Must we assume that the jungle retention against their will was like being forced into a luxury spa for nearly a decade? the nerve......

-The end-