Prostitutegate aside, there were other, more pressing things that happened at the Summit of the Americas two weeks ago. We can tinker with a lot of things. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, for example, sideswipe of U.S.-Cuba policy: “The isolation, the embargo, the indifference, and looking the other way, have shown their ineffectiveness” and the policy has to change.
The U.S. and Colombia are good allies. For decades Republicans and some Democrats have been patient and steadfast supporters of Colombia. Both countries have benefited from the relationship. We need a beachhead in the Andean region, Colombia provides it. Colombia needs access to U.S. markets, we worked to lower trade barriers.
U.S. security assistance has also been instrumental in regional security. This is especially true in Colombia. Colombia has been fighting the FARC narcoterrorist movement since the 1960s, and but for U.S. assistance, Colombia would be a much more different country than it is today. Countless hours have been spent in the U.S. Congress battling opposition by the Left to these and other policy programs of benefit to Colombia.
I’ve thought for sometime that Colombia has been overplaying its political hand in Washington, DC. His recent comments at the Summit, as well as Santo’s lack of leadership on Cuba and other hemispheric issues has reinforced the belief that Colombia is politically and diplomatically tone deaf. And while the Obama Administration should call them on it, they likely applauded his recent Cuba statement. Not only do these leaders govern center-left on domestic policy, but they have an affinity for the globalist agenda that views U.S.-Cuba policy as an anachronism to be done away with for more “enlightened” engagement options.
U.S. policy toward the Western Hemisphere is long overdue for a scrubbing, starting with Colombia.