Colombia is in multiple crisis due to the misgovernance of Pres. Santos - if you believe right-wing Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady.
It does sound pretty bad - unless you look at thing in context.
|Pres. Juan Manuel Santos|
In fact, just months ago Colombia had one of the world's fastest-growing economies, and one which had grown year after year under both presidents Uribe and Santos.
Santos has also pursued exactly the sort of capitalist free trade policies which the Journal usually praises.
It's also true that Colombia's cocaine production has boomed in recent years, and part of the reason is undoubtedly the government's prohibition against aerial herbicide spraying. That decision, based on supposed health concerns, was certainly questionable. But the more fundamental reason for the drug crop's growth is the booming cocaine market in the U.S. - and that is not Colombia's fault. Prohibitionist policies have never worked, and those failed policies are imposed by Washington, not -Bogotá.
O'Grady is also correct that the government gave the FARC guerrillas a sweetheart deal in the peace talks, and that Santos simply ignored the national referendum which voted narrowly against the pact. But I'd like to see anybody, including Uribe, get the guerrillas to sign a better deal - particularly one which would send them to prison for their numerous crimes.
O'Grady is correct that Colombia has troubles, but they're mostly not the fault of Pres. Santos.
O'Grady doesn't want the U.S. government to continue sending foreign aid to Colombia. However, Colombia's transformation from a near failed state to a stable democracy with a growing economy is one of Washington's biggest foreign policy successes.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours