Saturday, March 8, 2008

Support Colombia

The flag of Colombia

If you are confused about which nation to support in the tense confrontation between Colombia on one side and Venezuela and Ecuador on the other, I would like to make the case for Colombia.

In recent decades, Colombia has had a negative image on account of the drug industry and the violence it has engendered. Colombian citizens traveling around the world have aroused scrutiny from Customs officials wherever they go. Yet, what many outsiders may not know is that many Colombian police, soldiers, political leaders, journalists and prosecutors have risked their lives and those of their families to fight the cartels and the successor to the drug trade, FARC, the revolutionary army that is trying to overturn Colombia's government-using drugs and kidnappings as a source of finance.

Unfortunately, Colombia, an ally of the US, has two unsympathetic neighbors in Venezuela, under the rule of Hugo Chavez, to the east and Ecuador, now under a leftist president in Raphael Correa-an ally of Chavez-to the southwest. In fact both countries have allowed FARC rebels to operate on their territory across from the Colombian border, using those sanctuaries to launch raids into Colombia.

The situation reached a crisis last week when Colombia launched a raid into Ecuadoran territory and killed a top rebel leader. A laptop that was seized showed that funds were going to FARC from Chavez to the tune of 300 million. According to Colombian President, Alvaro Uribe, he had become frustrated after having, on a half-dozen occasions, passed intelligence to Ecuador on the locations of FARC, only to have them disappear after being tipped off. Nevertheless, the reaction from Chavez and Correa was one of outrage. Correa followed Chavez's lead in breaking diplomatic relations and moving troops to the border. (Nicaragua, under Daniel Ortega, also broke relations with Colombia.)

At this point, the situation has been diffused somewhat by a meeting between the three leaders this week at a Latin American political conference. Yet, the problem of FARC operating in Venezuela and Ecuador, with the apparent support of the two presidents, is still a ticking time bomb that could lead to war.

If that should unfortunately come to pass, my sympathies are with Colombia. Of course, the US has no quarrel with Ecuador nor the people of Venezuela (We, of course, do have a quarrel with Chavez.) I have visited both Colombia and Ecuador and like both countries and their people immensely. I would hate to see any war break out in that region. However, both Ecuador and Venezuela are acting irresponsibly in allowing FARC rebels to operate from their territory. Colombia has a right to defend itself from attacks. Its current president, Uribe, is popular in Colombia and with good reason. He is courageously standing up to the rebels and drug trafficking in general. He has been a good ally to the US-even though he was snubbed in a disgusting manner by Democrats during a recent visit to the US. (Democrats seem to think that Uribe has human rights skeletons in his past.)

So we should hope that war does not break out, but, if it does, Colombia is the "good guy".


Anonymous said...

Colombia's President, Alvaro Uribe Velez, is the best president we have had in history. He has guided our country in the direction of economic prosperity and a sense of safety. He may be the only person that can defeat the much repudiated, terrorist-drug traffikers that are the FARC. Americans, please stop believing that the FARC are a "peasant army struggling to survive". They are terrorists and Colombians feel about the FARC as you feel about Al Qaeda. That is no peasant army.

Gary Fouse said...

Gracias por su commentario. Que Dios bendiga Uribe y Colombia. Hay muchos Norte Americanos que saben la verdad. Lastimadamente, hay tambien muchos que no saben la verdad- incluyendo idiotas como Sean Penn y otros miembros de la comunidad de Hollywood que son inamorados de Chavez.

Anonymous said...

Chavez is just a kid that never grows up.

Anonymous said...

Would this mean that the US or any country being attacked by insurgent groups not be allowed to chase them to their sanctuaries. I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I enjoyed your comment/post. It shows that you have a real understanding of the situation in Columbia and with the FARC. The "casual" observer doesn't see all of that. But anyone who is CT or CN does understand that the FARC have been the bad guys for quite some time. Thanks.

Gary Fouse said...


I thank you for your comment. As a DEA agent, I had the opportunity to work briefly with the Colombian National Police and became close friends with the head of CNP Narcotics-a truly courageous individual. I also had the chance to participate in a drug training seminar in Bogota in 1995. It gave me a real appreciation for the courage that so many Colombians exhibit in standing up to the traffickers and terrorists. They deserve our full support.

Right Truth said...

Yes we should support Colombia, great article. Again the media fails to report the good news about America's friends.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth