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Colombian guerrilla leader asks president-elect to dialog

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The new president takes office August 7
  • President-elect Santos is a former defense minister
  • The guerrillas have asked for dialog before but current President Uribe has refused

(CNN) -- The leader of a Colombian Marxist guerrilla group has released a videotape in which he asks incoming President Juan Manuel Santos to open a dialog with the rebels to end a war that has lasted since the mid-1960s.

The guerrilla leader, whose name is Guillermo Saenz but who goes by Alfonso Cano, criticized the new president, who takes office August 7. Cano said Santos, a former defense minister, merely represents a continuity of the outgoing government of President Alvaro Uribe.

The rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia, has called for peace talks with Uribe but he has refused. The guerrillas are commonly known by their Spanish acronym, FARC.

The tape appeared on a FARC blog site Thursday.