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| 10/6/2009 12:00:00 AM

International Affairs: U.S.-Colombia business as usual

Oct 6--U.S.-Colombia relations don’t get much press these days. It’s understandable given all that’s going on in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

And, besides, there has been considerable hope for a more balanced approach to Colombia after President Barack Obama earlier this year said he would initiate a new policy of “multilateral diplomacy” in South America. (And we all know good news doesn’t play as well as bad news.)

The Bush administration had considered Colombia a close ally. President George W. Bush described Colombia’s president, Alvaro Uribe, as a close friend, ignoring that country’s notorious human rights violations and pretty much neglecting other allies in the region. Colombia has received over $6 billion in military and economic aid during the past nine years.

But the general thinking was that the Obama administration would not be so quick to underwrite the Colombian military and ignore rights violations. Unfortunately, that line of thought was wrong.

In August, news broke that the United States and Colombia had signed a deal that would make Colombian army and naval bases available to the U.S. in return for support in Colombia's war against the leftist FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. That support, of course, includes more millions for the Colombian military.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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