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  • Colombia: The Democratic System Worked

    Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe at the White House, Sept. 20, 2008

    No greater dilemma faced the Colombian political system in recent months than the issue of presidential re-election.  Should a constitutional referendum be held to allow a popular, extremely effective leader to run, and likely win, a third term as president? For many Colombians, President Alvaro Uribe had become the indispensable leader.

    Yet, across the political spectrum, many friends of Colombia worried about the impact of such concentrated power on the congress and judiciary.  A third term for Uribe would damage democratic belief in the alterability of executive power and resemble what  authoritarian populist Hugo Chavez is doing to destroy democracy in Venezuela.

    On February 27, the Colombian Supreme Court rejected the holding of a referendum.

    History will record that President Uribe [2002-2010] was a transformative president and a strategic visionary who save his nation from collapse, restored national confidence and pride, and blazed a path linking security with democracy.  In the fight against drugs and terrorism, the U.S. found in Uribe a responsible and effective partner.

    While the Bush Administration recognized Uribe’s achievements, the Obama Administration and Congress have maintained a distant posture. While advancing security cooperation with Colombia, the Democrats have failed to deliver on the Free Trade Agreement signed in 2006.  More than three years of inaction has cost the U.S. jobs and market share.

    The Obama Administration warmly applauded Uribe in a recent letter .  It can take the next step by recognizing the maturity of Colombia’s democracy and pushing for congressional passage of the trade agreement.  This action would be a fitting tribute to Colombia’s democratic progress, foremost, and a final, well-earned tribute to President Uribe.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Colombia: The Democratic System Worked

    1. Ken, Atlanta says:

      I have visited Colombia both before and since Uribe was elected. It is a wonderful country and arguably our best South American ally. Regarding seeking a third term, however, Uribe should look no further than nearby Honduras. While DC waffled (and frankly played it as bad as they could), Hondurans patiently took the necessary steps to further strengthen their fledgling democracy. Hence, while enticing a third term may be, Colombia's constitution is inherently more important than one individual. Uribe can still be an extremely influential and contributing figure as a former president. The power of a strong democracy will still prevail (and grow) without Uribe as president.

    2. randy, sa tx says:

      Why would anyone say that Colombia's Democratic System Worked? Does anyone know why the f a r c was created it was becuz the pleasent people want to join the '"political system"' and when they tried to enter the system they killed over 500 political activists and then the people knew how the system worked. Also f a r c have countinued to ask their goverment and U S goverment to help them bulit other crop rather then coca,but U S is providing the Colombians goverment with arms not helping the pleasent people.

    3. randy, sa tx says:

      Why would anyone say that Colombia’s Democratic System Worked? Does anyone know why the f a r c was created it was becuz the pleasent people want to join the ‘”political system”‘ and when they tried to enter the system they killed over 500 political activists and then the people knew how the system worked. Also f a r c have countinued to ask their goverment and U S goverment to help them bulit other crop rather then coca,but U S is providing the Colombians goverment with arms not helping the pleasent people. Anyone can check how miserly the press is there.Theirs has been at less 16 journalist killed in less than 3 years.Its by the paramilitary who want to silence the press.

    4. Pingback: Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Colombia and the rule of law

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