President Uribe's Popularity Soars After Snub By Gore
President Alvaro Uribe, the capitalist savior of South America, will be in Washington today to fight for a trade deal and continued US aid amid growing accusations of scandal back home in Colombia.
Democrats are refusing to release aid to the Colombia, a capitalist island among South America Far Left governments, because of accusations by leftists of scandal back home.
Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe with his two sons, Jeronimo, left, and Tomas, center, lining up to vote during presidential elections in Bogota, Sunday, May 28, 2006. (AP)
Uribe will visit with President Bush and leaders of Congress, although there are rumors that Speaker Pelosi has refused to meet with President Uribe although he even offered to come to her offices for the meeting.
** Speaker Pelosi is making plans to visit the Marxist Anti-American Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez in the fall!
So what makes Uribe South America’s strongest leader and why is it important to support the capitalist government in Colombia?
Publius Pundit explained why:
He’s destroying terrorism, installing free markets, and creating a new nation out of one of the world’s worst hellholes on a scale unseen almost anywhere else in the world. The stock market has gone up 500% since he’s taken office. The debt has been repaid early, the peso is soaring, the jobless rate is tumbling (unemployment is down one-third since he took office!), investment both foreign and domestic has gone through the moon and confidence and optimism is returning. The economy grew at 5% last year. Crime has evaporated. The country reported exactly two kidnaps this year.
But, this hasn’t stopped democrats from pulling the rug out from underneath his government:
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) of Vermont, chairman of the subcommittee overseeing foreign funds, recently froze $55 million in military aid to Colombia, and former vice president Al Gore shunned Uribe last month because of the scandal known here as “para-politics.”
Yet despite the unease in Washington, Uribe’s popularity at home, already high, has risen even as the allegations creep closer to him. The war-weary Colombian public – long aware of politicians’ ties to paramilitaries – seems content with Uribe’s success in lowering the violent crime rate and his no-nonsense approach to tackling the country’s problems…
Uribe argues that it is precisely because of his government’s successful negotiation with the paramilitaries – which lead to the demobilization of 31,000 fighters – that the truth of their influence is being revealed. The government says it supports the “para-politics” investigations and has approved additional funds to finance them.
But chief prosecutor Mario Iguarán, also in Washington this week, said at a forum at the Center for Strategic International Studies that his office is barely scraping by with the funds appropriated by the Colombian Congress, where pro-Uribe parties hold a majority.
Earlier this month, Al Gore snubbed Uribe at one of his environmental speaking engagements:
Former Vice President Al Gore told the organizers of an environmental conference that started Friday in Miami that he would only keep his speaking engagement if the conference disinvited Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, according to Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos.
Gore withdrew from the Green Forum, organized by Poder magazine and New America Alliance, on Friday to avoid appearing with Uribe, who is battling new accusations that he aided far-right death squads.
But, this only caused Uribe’s popularity to soar back home in Colombia:
Despite the recent scandal, supporters in Colombia have rallied around their president. An opinion poll released this week showed Uribe has an approval rating of 80.4 percent, up from 73 percent a month ago. After Mr. Gore’s snub, business federations bought ads in the nation’s largest newspaper with open letters of support for Uribe.
“Our president manages his image here very well, and he has improved security which has been very important to people,” said Mauricio Suarez as he dined at a restaurant in the nation’s capital, Bogotá. “Because of that a lot of people are willing to let other things, like this shameful scandal, slide.”
US lawmakers will probably let it slide as well, says Mr. Roett, given Colombia’s position as an “island in the Andes” surrounded by leftist government in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia.
“There’s been a huge foreign policy investment in Colombia so I don’t think Congress will throw out the baby with the bath water,” Roett says.
Let’s hope democrats come to their senses on this one and don’t make another massive foreign policy faux pas.