Colombia Should Ditch U.S. ‘Special Relationship’: El Espectador, Colombia
Under its new president, Juan Manuel Santos, Colombian policymakers are preparing for a change in relations with the United States, which, according to columnist Alvaro Forero Tascon of Colombia’s Semana, has been based on Colombian weakness and the-now-diminishing American influence.
For Semana, Alvaro Forero Tascon writes in part:
What President Santos calls “speaking in equal terms” with the United States is not overconfidence on his part, but his reading that there has been a change in the conditions that determined the anti-narcotics phase of bilateral ties: a gradual reduction of U.S. economic aid, a lack of success of the “war on drugs” strategy, improved security conditions in Colombian and the reduction of U.S. hegemonic power.
Santos and Foreign Minister Holguin should be clear that it makes no sense to continue insisting on a “special relationship” that was a consequence of the country’s weakness during administration of Andrés Pastrana [1998-2002] and the need to legitimize Alvaro Uribe [2002-2010]. This is an anachronism in an unaligned world in which the United States is seeking to build a more horizontal international system with the purpose of disguising the erosion of its power. It is a necessity to diminish the anti-drug instrument with which the United States has exercised such profound influence on Colombia for the last 20 years. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve relations with the countries in the region to promote what is emerging as the central strategy of Latin American foreign policy: to provide leadership in the context of Latin America that will free President Lula da Silva or any other president in the region who seems capable of exercising it.
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