Uribe Has Done His Part, Now It’s Congress’ Turn

By May 28, 2008Trade

The Los Angeles Times takes editorial note of Colombia President Uribe’s extradition of paramilitary leaders to the United States, observing, “Congressional Democrats have for months been playing a bait-and-switch game with Uribe — they insist that Colombia show progress on human rights and union issues in order to win their support for the trade pact, and then when Uribe gives them what they want, they ask for something else. Uribe’s latest move should test their true motives.” More …

Democrats are ostensibly holding up a vote on the Colombia free trade pact because Bogota hasn’t done enough to protect union leaders, who have been targeted by the paramilitaries. If the extradition of a large group of paramilitary leaders doesn’t placate them, it’s hard to imagine what will. Moreover, the trade pact would boost jobs in both the U.S. and Colombia during an economic downturn and cement Colombia as a firm U.S. ally in a region teeming with anti-American sentiment. It looks increasingly as though the real reason Democratic leaders won’t vote on the Colombia deal is that they don’t want to alienate their organized-labor backers during an election year.

Another blow was dealt recently to the FARC, the communist/narcoterrorist guerillas, with the death in March of one of its founders, Manuel Marulanda. (WSJ story.) The U.S. Congress could apply more pressure, perhaps helping to end the murderous rebellion, with a strong show of support of Colombia’s democracy and market.

Do members of Congress really want to be seen as undermining a U.S ally because organized labor tells them to?

UPDATE: FARC, the global terrorists, as well. From Vivirlatino:

Colombian authorities revealed on Tuesday that an email had been found on the computer of fallen rebel leader Raul Reyes, in which the top FARC leader, Alfonso Cano, suggested that they “should plan a project” to carry out an attack in Madrid.

The email has intelligence organizations worried, because according to the initial analysis, FARC as planning to carry out attacks against prominent Colombian personalities in the Spanish capital. “I propose that you create a project that will get the comrades ready for the attack in Madrid,” says the message that Cano sent to the head of the FARC.

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