French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans were rescued from leftist guerrillas by Colombian troops, Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday.
Santos said all of the former hostages were in reasonably good health after being held for years in secret jungle camps.
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, has been holding about 40 high-profile hostages it has sought to exchange for jailed rebels.
The Americans, three Defense Department contract workers, were captured in 2003 after their light aircraft crashed in the jungles while on a counter-narcotics operation.
The FARC, waging Latin America's oldest insurgency, demanded that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe pull back troops from an area the size of New York City to facilitate talks.
We told you about how the McCain trip to Colombia was announced:
McCain, rather pointedly I thought at the time, FAILED to mention the Americans being held hostage in Colombia for the last five years.
Due to the nature of McCain's trip to Colombia--unexpectedly--and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe's outspoken denunciations of Barack Obama--well, was this all a setup? Granted--the FARC is collapsing and the recent setbacks have indicated to me that the hostages would soon be released.
Was McCain--the former POW--going to Colombia knowing his old friend Uribe was going to hand three American POWs over?
Sorry to be cynical, but I am. I am thrilled the Americans are free--it is long overdue and their families have suffered. But, come on.