News & Analysis
THE PRAGMATIST: Santos's 'Kiss and Make Up' Approach Renews FARC Rather Than Colombia?
In 2010 Alvaro Uribe handed on the presidency after two terms to Juan Manuel Santos, his former defence minister, whom he expected to continue his policies. ... A year and a half into his four-year term, Mr. Santos's predecessor has become his most powerful opponent. ... The tension between the two groups may yet break Mr. Santos's coalition apart. Even so, it is hard to see Mr. Uribe leading much more than a right-wing rump. When he was elected in 2002 Colombians felt that FARC attacks and kidnappings were destroying their country. In part thanks to Mr. Uribe's success at taming the rebels, Colombians now show signs of reverting to the traditional political moderation embodied by Mr. Santos. – The Economist
Dominant Social Theme: Santos is a visionary with his eye on establishing social justice and peace – a practical leader for practical times who respects his neighbors.
Free-Market Analysis: What a pile of hogwash. And go figure ... none other than The Economist to weigh in with "social" dribble that supports the alignment of a leader whose "soft" policies are clearly more aligned with other leftist-socialist leaning countries. But it comes as no surprise to regular readers of the Daily Bell that we would disagree with a position taken by The Economist.
The Economist, which referred to Colombia's most successful leader in history, by all measures, as a "right-wing-rump," clearly has an agenda to support their "golden boy from Bogota," who just happens to be a media mogul himself.
Until 2007 Santos's family managed the huge media conglomerate, Casa Editorial El Tiempo. Cozy relationships amongst elite publishers? Heck, there are even rumors circulating that Santos may be tapped for the highest office in the United Nations following his time running Colombia.
It's a time he has spent more often that not pandering to international political pressure to "kiss and make up" with neighbors, such as Hugo Chávez (who continues to provide refuge to insurgents with the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC).
Another stalwart international publication, Spain's El Pais, came out with their own endorsement of Santos's desire to "negotiate" with groups and leaders who have caused immeasurable loss – both personally and economically for millions of Colombians. Here's what El Pais had to say on July 19th:
"Although Santos' approval rating has dropped in recent months, the state of the economy is playing in his favor with continued growth. And according to polls, most Colombians favor Santos' conciliatory policies which have helped eased the tensions with Chávez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa..."
Really ... most Colombian citizens favor the policies of Santos? Really ... Santos is "responsible" for Colombia's "continued growth?"
How can El Pais, a paper that has done wonders to help the Spanish understand sound economic policy, possibly suggest that Colombia will be better off because of Santos's "conciliatory policies which have helped eased the tensions with Chávez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa"?
Have the editors of such "leftist" supporting commentary visited Venezuela lately and seen how much progress the middle class has made as a result of Chavez's policies?
Have they witnessed the outpourings of support from the international financial community for corrupt regimes that serve the interests of a few to the disadvantage of the majority of its citizens? Are these the types of stalwart examples we are to believe Santos should be lauded for "consoling"?
The "continued" growth and prosperity credited to Santos by The Economist and El Pais are simply the tailwinds of the real growth and prosperity developed under Alvaro Uribe. Plain and simple.
Sadly, the gains made in Colombia's security have begun to turn around drastically. There were 70 attacks – an increase of 35 percent – carried out by FARC in August alone. This past weekend, 35 people were killed in such attacks, in spite of Santos's announcement last week that "exploratory talks to end the conflict" are underway with FARC leadership.
Uribe's efforts to stamp out drug dealing involved using state power to take down FARC, the notorious left-wing para-military group. His successor, President Juan Manuel Santos has preferred the proverbial jaw-jaw to war-war.
These days, Uribe is making it clear that he believes much of the progress that Colombia made in counteracting drug-induced social instability is at risk.
Uribe, an early adopter of Twitter, at first used the facility to laud his own performance and Santos's continuation of it. But no more. Several years into his own term, Santos – Uribe's former defense minister – has made it clear he is his own man.
These days, Uribe's tweets are critical of Santos. And while Santos continues to be positive about Uribe's legacy – in public – the last time the two men had a friendly summit was over a year ago during lunch at Uribe's ranch.
While a law-and-order approach to government may often devolve into authoritarianism, Uribe's firm approach when it came to FARC was welcomed by most Colombians, who had lived in constant fear from decades of violence. Uribe's "Colombia First" policies also translated into a wave of capital and financing from abroad.
Once Western money saw that Uribe was serious, Colombia's business success was triggered. The results have been emphatic, by any standard. Not only did Colombia improve its reputation for drug-related violence but Colombian officials now claim that the economy has surpassed Argentina as the number three economy in Latin America, second only to Mexico and Brazil.
Given that Colombia has a population of fewer than 50 million people while Mexico has over 100 million and Brazil some 250 million, this is quite an accomplishment.
It is even more compelling when one considers that only 20 years ago the only outside publicity Colombia received was for its drug-related violence. In 1993, Colombia's most famous insurgent, Pablo Escobar, was shot dead in Medellin. The news was a worldwide sensation.
The war between the state and the cartels, including FARC, sputtered on for another decade or so before Uribe's rise to power in 2002. Moments before he was sworn in as president, FARC explosions devastated parts of Bogota, killing 20 people. Only a few days later, Uribe declared state of emergency.
This would prove to be Uribe's way. He believed that FARC had to be defeated militarily before its participants could be successfully reintegrated. As Uribe's defense minister, Santos supported this security build-up. He was a proponent and implementer. This only makes his current apostasy worse, from Uribe's point of view.
Santos has blurred the line between various kinds of Colombian violence. His offer of reparations and land is available to those victimized by FARC but also by "right wing" paramilitaries. Uribe saw the threat primarily as coming from FARC terrorists. Santos has made it clear that he sees Colombia's violence in shades of gray.
These days, the Colombian military is focused on reducing guerrilla groups rather than on removing senior FARC commanders. Santos wants the senior FARC commanders healthy and available for negotiations. Uribe had focused on taking the fight to the leaders as the most effective way of sapping morale and creating general chaos in the ranks of FARC.
Under Uribe, FARC-related violence plummeted, FARC forces were halved to their present 8,000, On the other hand, the "bacrim," right wing paramilitary groups, have increased in numbers – and violence – under Santos's less hard-handed dealing with illegal drug trafficking.
Bitterness is increasing as Santos continues to go his own way. An aide to Uribe reportedly called Santos' actions a "total betrayal." It is even hinted that Uribe could run for Senate again, putting himself in the position of being a king-maker ... potentially selecting a presidential candidate to run against Santos in the next elections.
Colombia has prospered tremendously as the FARC threat diminished under Uribe. The resultant peace, uneasy though it may have been, gave Uribe the political currency to initiate various free-market strategies, including most importantly the cutting of taxes and the shrinking of bureaucracy.
Uribe is a force to be reckoned with. It is quite possible we are seeing a reconfiguration of Colombia's political system – ironically, one that is being driven by two men who were once allies.
Santos, for better or worse, will continue to gamble on Colombia's future security and pursue a "softer" approach when it comes to FARC. Uribe fears this undermines the very foundations of Colombia's current prosperity.
The ramifications of these competing visions are not restricted to Colombia but likely have an impact on South America as a whole. The larger continent is divided between competing visions held by the current leadership of Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador and the more market-based approaches of Colombia (under Uribe) and Chile, which remains under the sway of the free-market "Freshwater" Chicago school.
Conclusion: Time will tell whether Uribe is concerned enough to come out of retirement. But his current rhetoric and the sincerity of his vision for Colombia may well propel him back into the political ring. If so, it would be a significant event not just for Colombia but also for the larger political scene throughout South America.
Editor's Note: The Daily Bell has recently established on-ground editorial presence in various countries throughout South America, Colombia included. As part of our efforts to better understand the reality of the world around us, editorial direction will increasingly include practical solutions that can be utilized by free-market thinking people to protect and expand their wealth, maintain control of their individual liberty and add enjoyment to their lives. Along with you, I have the same goals as my dear departed friend and mentor, Harry Browne, who wrote a book I strongly recommend: "How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World."
Anthony Wile, Chief Editor, The Daily Bell
Posted by SgtBarnes on 09/06/12 11:29 AM
I commend your choice of Colombia as a front line of sorts for your cause. This article is ripe with topical subject matter pertinent to almost everybody on planet earth right now. Educating people with truth is a powerful tool in helping the world to change. On the points of your article, I think you are logical and matching with most of my experiences both inside and outside of Colombia. One of the unfortunate facts of life is that evil is always lurking and has an insatiable hunger for power. Left alone and ignored, it experiences geometric growth. Sadly, in times of economic prosperity most people don't care and don't want to notice. I could wax poetic for hours on this subject, but as to my outlook for Colombia: I see a great culture with above average friendliness. I see a country ripe with hope and tremendous opportunity for growth, yet somewhat emotionally raw from previous decades of violence. One of the greatest headwinds for continued growth, peace, and prosperity is being too reliant on the US. As global central banks (US, Europe, Japan, Switzerland... )continue to print money in order to hide their debt, inflation becomes all to real, particularly in growing economies around the world. Colombia is right in the middle of this, needing to cut rates, and weaken the peso (print money) themselves just to keep the goods and services they export at a competitive level. This sows the seeds of wild inflationary scenarios, driving up the price of food most importantly. Colombia still has a huge number of people living in poverty and they are not equipped to afford the sudden high prices of food. This will be a very important factor as we move forward since rebel forces, paramilitaries, terrorist groups, cartels, etc will have an easy recruiting base. The guy with the Rolex watch who provides meals everyday can become very powerful, potentially to the detriment of the long term success of the country (and the world) as a whole.
Truly free markets can achieve the balance we need- locally and globally.
Posted by Haydee on 09/06/12 11:12 AM
Colombia is a distinguished country that has bad reputation; foreigners have the wrong idea of what is Colombia because all that we hear is terrorism. However, and I think that Dr Alvaro Uribe did a great job for our country, he fought for the security of Colombians, in this way we can say that he has been an excellent president, because of each action he took against terrorism.
We have a country with a lot of varieties, with interesting culture and is really great for tourism and that is what he did during his presidency to give to people the feeling of security that has not been felt in a long time.
Posted by Jaque on 09/05/12 08:25 PM
@Jonathan on 09/05/12 07:28 PM
You are clearly an ignorant bigot devoid of anything to do with knowledge of Colombia. It is through ignorance that many millions have suffered throughout history.
As for Jews, we have a very small Jewish population here in Medellin but they are certainly not viewed with any disrespect and nor should they be. For the record, I am not Jewish.
I sure hope this site, which I only recently found as a result of this very well written account of the security issues in our country, isn't populated with too many more types like you.
Posted by Jonathan on 09/05/12 07:28 PM
Why all the interest in Colombia over the years, DB? Is this the official Jewish propanganda or maybe one of the DB Jews (aka elves) lives in Colombia? Or, maybe a little of both? There are ample Jews in Colombia already and there is even a big fancy Jewish synagogue in the expensive Chico area of Bogota, so you guys would certainly fit right in.
Charles Frith in his comments on this site, opened my eyes to the Daily Bell being a Jewish propoganda site run entirely by Jews (which led to the closing of the DB comments section for many months). And jews, as we know, have been making great progress towards their Jew World Order (aka NWO). Illuminati and elite are code for JEW. And, this is no doubt why the DB focuses primarily on US politics and central banking, and chooses to ignore other important initiatives, run by jews, such as the mass of jewish actors in media and politics in USA, Europe and Australia / NZ which goes back 100 years and has just been exposed (eg. Mitt Romney is played by Richard S Jenkins; Ron Paul is played by Sir Ian McKellen; Eveline Widmer-Schlumf (Swiss President) is played by Susan Sarandon; the King of Spain is played by Paul Newman; Christine Lagarde is played by Martina Navratilova, etc, etc - 100's of them even in the British Royal Family). All this on Click to view link. This is a key mechanism of control of us non-jew 'goyim', meaning cattle.
Even the DB's coverage of central banking is skewed towards academic discussions with a focus on the Rothschilds, the most famous jews in central banking ('old grey men in the city of London'). But, they conveniently ignore that almost the entire global system of central banks and commercial banks is controlled entirely by jews. The jews settled in every country a long time ago, so that they would appear like natives.
In Israel, an atheist jew is allowed to marry a religious jew, but a jew is not permitted to marry a non-jew! The Konahim, the jew elites, often named Cohen or Kahn, in order to marry another, each must prove only jew-jew marriages for 1000 generations! While the Nazi's were accused of racial cleansing because they required such proof for only 3 generations! Therefore, the jews are all about achieving an in-bred jewish super-race. Why would they want to do that? Read more at Click to view link.
Recommended further reading on the global takeover by jews:
The international jew, by Henry Ford, 1921 (free on the net)
Pawns in the Game, by William Guy Carr, 1958 (free on the net). This book, particularly, describes the REAL history of the world.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Here we go. Welcome back, Jonathan. So nice to have you spewing hate on DB feedback pages once more.
If wanted to ban anti-Jew comments, why do yours appear?
Chew on that one for a while.
As for your anti-Semitism, it's simply a canard. No one ethnic group has cornered the market on evil. Not "all Jews" are responsible for what's going on.
It is not religious. It is criminal. It is run and operated like a crime family. But you want to make it ethnic. All Jews eat babies and print money.
Again, it is not an ethnic issue but a criminal one. Kill every Jew in the world but leave the mechanism untouched and it would reoccur in a generation.
You get a prize for being among our most imaginative recent feedbackers, Jonathan. We weren't aware of comparisons between Colombia and New Jerusalem. Congrats on originality.
You also wrote the following, presumably in support of one insane theory making the rounds on the Internet that major sociopolitical figures are being played by Hollywood actors. Somehow this is not surprising ...
"And, this is no doubt why the DB focuses primarily on US politics and central banking, and chooses to ignore other important initiatives, run by jews, such as the mass of jewish actors in media and politics in USA, Europe and Australia / NZ which goes back 100 years and has just been exposed (eg. Mitt Romney is played by Richard S Jenkins; Ron Paul is played by Sir Ian McKellen; Eveline Widmer-Schlumf (Swiss President) is played by Susan Sarandon; the King of Spain is played by Paul Newman; Christine Lagarde is played by Martina Navratilova, etc, etc - 100's of them even in the British Royal Family). All this on Click to view link. This is a key mechanism of control of us non-jew 'goyim', meaning cattle."
Posted by islandtime on 09/05/12 02:41 PM
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to Medellin to discuss development and financing opportunities in start up pharmaceutical and medical research industries.
Although I am a well seasoned traveller, I was extremely reluctant to visit Colombia, and specifically Medellin, due to the unfavourable reports from several consulate travel advisory bulletins, mainstream travel internet websites and the foreign press.
My "before and after" impression of visiting Medellin has completely changed my mind about the country. During my short stay, I heard the positive changes in business opportunities, education, infrastructure, and the social and politically environment being experienced by local residents and business owners.
I commend former President Alvaro Uribe on his tough tactics regarding the thugs and terrorists that dominated the lives of hard-working Colombians for so many years.
It takes a special person who can look beyond their own safety for their family and themselves and fight the cancer which seemed to stall any positive growth for the country.
Mr. Uribe's visionary platform seems to be eroded with the current regime, as the local news focuses once again on the bloody push back from the drug cartels and FARC members.
I sincerely hope that the future of Colombia does not regress back to a time of decay and hopelessness for its people. The country needs a leader who continues to put the people of Colombia first.
Posted by monica-medellin on 09/05/12 12:48 PM
I/m and a lot of colombian citezens are very grateful with Alvaro Uribe because he gave us back the country and yes in this moment is a big fear because the safety indidicators are again very bad. However if somebody is thinking in a long term peace in Colombia there are other actions have to be taken
-presence of goverment and institutions all over the country
-a justice system which ends with impunity
-education and health
-end of corruption
-an end of financig the war with money of drug trafficking
So it is a long process until the conditions are there for a real peace.
Meanwile for Colombians any kind of new approaches with the different confllict parties fills us with optimism
Posted by calamantocho on 09/05/12 09:37 AM
Although I believe any conflict must be resolved by negotiating, the approach to the negotiations and conditions set by president Santos are legimitizing the CRIMINAL terrorist actions of FARC and are undermining the great accomplishments obtained during Uribe's government.
Posted by Truthbeknown on 09/05/12 07:32 AM
" Time will tell whether Uribe is concerned enough to come out of retirement." I think it's time. He has made too many positive changes for Colombia that I believe he cannot sit on the sidelines and watch his beautiful country regress back to it previous condition.
Posted by FMT on 09/04/12 10:51 PM
As a young DB reader who has never traveled to Colombia, I find this article about previous President Uribe and present President Santos very intriguing. Overall, it covered many crucial facts about the past and future of Colombia's prosperity.
Posted by Free M. Thinker on 09/04/12 06:18 PM
Young national generations need to open their eyes and see the reality of Colombia. The country is falling apart in the hand of a governor that can't understand the real problems that Colombia faces. Mr. Uribe's administration gave the nation back to society, while Mr. Santos has "negotiated" the country's natural resources and raw materials at the expense of all Colombians. The country was deceived with a leader that people thought he was going to continue with the Democratic Security policies but, instead, insecurity has increased at a frightening rate.
Colombia needs a real change; lets wait and see if a real leader appears or if a strong former governor steps up to the challenge.
Posted by MelloM on 09/04/12 06:14 PM
Thank God we still have good chief editors in todays world!
Uribe: please remember that you have the support of all your fellow colombians. We do trust in your results as you have applied the Latin Proverb to its greatest extent: RES NON VERBA (facts and not words)
Lets hope we can see you again as president!
Posted by zuma on 09/04/12 05:20 PM
me parece importante resaltar que un periodista extranjero tenga la percepcion integral de lo que sucede en Colombia.
como colombiano pienso que han sido muchas las veces que nos equivocamos en la eleccion de nuestros dirigentes, pero lo sucedido con Santos fue un engano ya que a el lo elegimos por ser la continuidad de Uribe y ha sido lo contrario esta atacando toda la politica positiva de quien cambio la historia de Colombia
felicito a Daily Bell por mirar con objetividad a nuestro pais
Reply from The Daily Bell
I think it important to note that a foreign journalist has a comprehensive perception of what is happening in Colombia.
As a Colombian, I think there have been many times that we were wrong in choosing our leaders, but what happened with Santos was a hoax as we thought we were choosing the continuity of Uribe. He has been the opposite and is attacking all the positive political policies that changed the history of Colombia.
Daily Bell I congratulate you for looking at our country objectively.
Posted by Jcray on 09/04/12 05:19 PM
As a reader of the daily bell, its articles have intrigued my interest in Colombia. In my research of the country I have watched the positive and powerful changes as a result of Alvaro Uribe's leadership. I will one day visit and hope that these changes will continue and progress with the times.
Posted by Jaque on 09/04/12 04:51 PM
As a Paisa, living in medellin is truly something I wish people from other countries could experience. The natural beauty of our region of Colombia is remarkably spectacular. But what is most remarkable is that a man, one man, with the courage and determination to lead Colombia out of a very dark and dismal period was able to bring about such tremendous change.
The man pursued policies that gave us hope. Policies that brought back the faith in ourselves and our country that we could indeed open our doors and walk safely into the streets. Policies that encouraged others to visit Colombia to see for themselves that it is not only a beautiful country with amazing topography, but that it is filled with industrious and hard working people who want nothing more than a fair shot at a peaceful existence and the ability to grow forward.
That man is also a Paisa. A very proud and humble man. Someone all of us owe a great deal of gratitude to.
Thank you Mr. Uribe for shining a light of hope where previously there was none - and continuing to challenge those whose policies are not welcomed and threaten all you have done for Colombians everywhere.
Posted by LLL on 09/04/12 04:23 PM
When I first went to Colombia I was amazed at how much safer I felt there than I did in my own home country of Mexico. The people of Colombia credited Uribe with that. We spoke at great lengths, the people of Colombia and I, about just how Uribe cleaned up their country and made it a place they were once again proud to call home.
The violence the drug cartels are unleashing upon the Mexican people is devastating. I could only wish that the Mexican government could learn from Uribe's policies in dealing with the FARC and apply some of that to what is happening in small and large towns across Mexico today. My own father was caught in the middle of a shoot out during a religious holiday last December.
Enough with words and enough with bowing down to international pressure. These drug cartels and paramilitary groups aren't listening nor do they care. The people of these countries need action.
It would be such a shame to see Colombia devolve back into what it was because of Santos' reluctance to stop talking and take a stand.
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 09/04/12 12:54 PM
@ Martin on 09/04/12 12:12 PM
Martin wrote: "I agree with you and are glad they opened up the feedbacks. The only detraction for me are the blowhards who have nothing more to do in life than constantly post time wasting drivel and know it all attacks on the few websites I have time to review as I work for a living. Well no more time for this but seeing the aardvark photo will help me skip over your posts in the future."
You seem to mistake me for someone else. I posted quite a few feedbacks in the past and if you can find examples where I 'attacked' the Daily Bell, I'll send you an ounce of silver for each one.
Posted by Diamond on 09/04/12 12:41 PM
Obviously the Daily Bell has the story straight again. The economic success that Columbia has enjoyed is in large part to Uribe and the team he assembled during his tenure. His tough stance on violence and the ideas he's implemented for economic prosperity. The country has been on a roll and the the old team member, Santos, charting a new course is going to destroy the momentum. It's clear the input of Uribe is vital to the future success of the country. Most of the Latin American countries fall into the common trap of shadey dealings instead of serving the interests of its constituents. Perhaps the Daily Bell can identify how Santos is self-serving at the expense of the populous. We'll stay tuned...
Posted by Mímir on 09/04/12 12:16 PM
To the staff of The Daily Bell, let me first start by saying that I'm a long time reader first time commenter, and very much enjoy your publication.
To this article I will speak on what I know from personal experience. Now normally I'm not one to value my own opinion unless all facts have been accounted for however since this is more of personal reflection of experience I feel content to state some 'facts' from my own life on the subject of Colombia's growth and security, and the effect Alvaro Uribe has had on the country.
My family had long spent time in Colombia, even back in the heavy drug cartel days of Pablo Escobar, my father was a non-Spanish speaking, Caucasian 6ft male that would clearly stand out in a crowd, however he was able to move around in those dark times straight through to present day, all while making a plethora of communal contacts, business relationships, and becoming fluent in the language. Granted he does exhibit a higher level of travelers' common sense, avoiding potentially dangerous situations or locations. However is that not just as relative to any country you visit?
Over his time in the country he expressed a great amount of joy and love for the people, environment, and raw potential for investment that Colombia had to offer. He overcame the bigotry of uneducated first world investors, while carrying the torch for the new Uribe Colombia. That was a hard sell to say the least. He also wasn't afraid to put his money where his mouth was, and I don't mean based solely on the scale of his own investments and fiscal risk, he brought a human element to the table, in the form of myself and my mother and brother, and subsequently my 2 little nieces ages 1 & 4.
Over the course of my lifetime I have made numerous excursions to Colombia, spending the majority of my time in Medellin, Bogota, and more recently Cartagena. I've also spent a fair amount of time in the remote jungle areas, for recreational time at friends' cottages or 'Fincas'. By that same regard I've spent time in quite literally the middle of no where, where electrical power, running water and the other staples of civilization have yet to make it... I went to those remote places to view potential mines, but it quickly became more of a culture shock from my experience with the people. What a wonderful experience it was. These local villagers who would never normally see a Caucasian male, let alone one with a Grizzly Adams beard, tattoos, and a 6'4, 300pound frame, flocked to me, wanted their kids to get pictures with this anomaly of a man, it was surreal. The kindness of these random Colombians that time had seemingly forgotten about was unprecedented for my experience traveling this Earth. This attitude however wasn't exclusive to the people living off the grid, I find that every town, or city I visit, I'm greeted with the same positive and accepting vibe.
I know the first thought most first world travelers will have is that. 'Well they are only being nice to you because they see the potential money you represent'. As I'm not a fool I too considered that as a motive, so I started to delve into the tangible thoughts of these individuals, political alignments, beliefs on certain topics, religious beliefs etc.
There was always one consistent I wasn't able to escape. Alvaro Uribe was seemingly loved by all. It didn't matter what demographic I was speaking to, the cab driver taking me out for the evening, the bartenders and bouncers at some local clubs, random patrons at restaurants, lawyers from the downtown Bogota business core, even the local street vendors. Everyone loved this guy, he inspired the same kind of love that Canadians had for Pierre Trudeau our 15th Prime Minister. Now the limits of my age don't allow me to speak personally on my affection for Mr.Tudeau I can only go by news reels, articles and poor quality digital uploads to YouTube for my review of him. So Uribe became my Trudeau. What do I mean by that you might ask? I was never a Colombian citizen, but I felt like he was what I wanted my politicians in Canada to be like. Honest, and capable, and most importantly with the balls to do what needed to be done. Trudeau was famous for his motto 'Reason before passion', now entirely removing passion from a Latino is next to impossible in my experience, but I found that Uribe ran with that concept. He did something crazy in the world's democratic scene. He stated what he was going to do if elected, and then… He did it. Crazy, right? The mixed feelings of jealousy and pride I had watching Uribe's political career were unmatched, except by my projected love for Winston Churchill, my all time favourite political heavyweight.
My conclusion I've drawn from all my experience and regalements from my father's experience in this wonderful country called Colombia is this. I have always found my time spent there to be entertaining and safe. The attitude, politeness, and genuinely warm actions of the denizens wherever I go speak volumes on the caliber of people who call Colombia home. These are people that have been in a constant uphill battle to re-educate the world on their true identity and to not be besmirched by the actions of a few criminals, who rose to power due to America's insatiable appetite for cocaine. Yet like most consumers America assumes zero responsibility for said demand, and then compounds that stereotype by creating a constant barrage of negative light cinema experiences for the world to view Colombia as this never changing, drug cartel haven. These people continue to push forward to remove that stigma, and after America decided to get involved and remove Mr. Escobar from his drug Kingpin throne, and then walked away dusting off their hands and ignoring the insurgent FARC who then quickly ran in and took control of a veritable money tree to fund their own terrorist activities. A true leader needed to rise from the people, he did, and he even won me over and I don't even live there!
Now all that hard work and sacrifice is starting to become undone by just another politician. A problem all too common in the first world political arena. Which for a well liked, established country like Canada isn't exactly the end of the world, but for a country that has been fighting and starting to round the bend towards real safety it could be disastrous. I won't say it would be the nail in the coffin because as I've expressed the great people of Colombia would inspire another great leader to rise up and solve the problem. I certainly hope it doesn't take another back step due to politicians without the stones to see through what needs to be done and then have the strength of character to see to its completion. I'm not a religious person so I won't pray that the people realize just what damage is being done by the non-action of Mr. Santos. But I do have faith in the people, and hope they will alter his mind on just how to deal with the FARC.
Canada has always been a safe and wonderful country and I am proud to call it my home. That said, everyday I wake up with a longing ness to go back to Colombia, a feeling I can only quantify with that need to go 'home'. One day I will move down there, and I will raise a family, and I will feel as I always have here, safe and happy. This time with the added bonus of year round summer.
Posted by Martin on 09/04/12 12:12 PM
I agree with you and are glad they opened up the feedbacks. The only detraction for me are the blowhards who have nothing more to do in life than constantly post time wasting drivel and know it all attacks on the few websites I have time to review as I work for a living. Well no more time for this but seeing the aardvark photo will help me skip over your posts in the future.
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 09/04/12 11:55 AM
@ Martin on 09/04/12 10:46 AM
Martin: "First of all, I don't read the DB to get the "Abu Aardvark Analysis" whatever that is."
AA: It's a feedback. If you don't like to read feedbacks, don't do it.
Martin: "I'm not an anarchist but whether we like the political process or federal governments or not, this is still how it works in every nation in the world."
AA: Yep, it has always been like that. The rulers and the ruled. It works. Why would anyone would want to change it then, right?
Martin: "Governments can be legitimate or not"
AA: No such thing as a legitimate government, imho.
Martin: "but there is no question that the governmental actions of the Uribe administration improved the lives of many citizens in Columbia."
AA: I didn't query that in general, did I? Besides, actions of the Uribe administration ENDED the lives of other citizens, apparently.
Martin: "One has to be pragmatic today in dealing with the real world we live in"
AA: Today? As opposed to ... ?
Martin: "unless one hides from the real world and wants to discuss theoretical concepts like how many angels can stand on the head of pin."
AA: Hm. How about "theoretical concepts" like real freedom - beyond command and control structures like "government"?
Martin:: "I say thanks to the Daily Bell for bringing us this editorial and I hope to hear more along these lines because I know the one government is certainly not only illegitimate but incompetent and that is the American government. I wish we could control our crime rate and criminal elements like has happened down in Colombia."
AA: I too say thanks to the Daily Bell ... for re-opening the feedbacks.
But here's a question for you, Martin: Assuming that the Uribe administration constituted a 'legitimate government' - according to your definition - why would you think that the American government is not?