Friday, October 7, 2016

The Nobel Tosses Santos a Lifeline

Juan Manuel Santos, defense minister,
president and now Nobel peace prize winner.
"Everything that I have worked for, everything that I have believed in during my public life, has crashed into ruins." -- British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in despair after Hitler invaded Poland, despite Chamberlain's appeasement efforts.

Pres. Santos might have felt the same way after voters rejected his peace deal with the FARC last Sunday, destroying the project on which he planned to build his legacy.

Suddenly, however, his hopes might be resuscitated by an unlikely ally: The Nobel Prize committee, which awarded him this year's peace prize.

I wonder whether the Nobel committee made their choice before the vote, and now perhaps regret it, as Santos' effort flounders.

But Santos' new stature, as only the second Colombian (along with Gabriel Garcia Marquez) to win a Nobel Prize, might just give him the moral weight to convince voters, the FARC and ex-Pres. Uribe to moderate their positions.

Ironically, Santos was minister of defense for Pres. Uribe, when he led a harsh militery offensive against the same FARC guerrillas whove now become his political allies.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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