Monday, August 6, 2012

Garzon Should Say Good-Bye

Vice Pres. Garzon.
Capable of the top job?
Quick - name Colombia's vice president!

You probably couldn't have named Angelino Garzon, who had been mostly invisible until he suffered a serious stroke two months ago.

Garzon, who made his career as a labor union leader and minister of labor, was probably chosen more to balance the ticket with Pres. Santos, who had been minister of defense, than for Garzon's executive ability if something happened to Santos.

And Garzon, who is 65, didn't start out well. Only days after taking office he had to undergo heart surgery. Then came the stroke. Pres. Santos says that Garzon is recovering fast from the problem, but a stroke is a stroke. And, Garzon's strange, slurred speech during a radio interview this morning showed that he's far from completely recovered.

The vice president may be nearly invisible in ordinary times, but if something were to happen to the president he would be suddenly thrust into the top job, with all of its pressures and responsibilities, and in a time of crisis. And Garzon, with his past and current medical problems, clearly isn't in shape for the task.

Garzon's recent reported comments backing a Constitutional Assembly, which President Santos opposes, only make the situation more complex.

Garzon should step gracefully aside and let the president appoint someone capable of doing the job, if, God forbid, that became necessary. And, if Garzon won't go willingly, then the president should firmly push him, for the best interests of the country.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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