Saturday, April 12, 2008


Contrary to the opinion expressed in the lead editorial in today's The New York Times, Congress and Speaker Pelosi should not allow Bush to push through his free trade agreement with Colombia. There are several reasons:

One. We need first to make Bush come up with a plan to rescue the two million families that are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure in the sub-prime mess. Bush so far allows the financial markets to be be bailed out by the Fed but refuses to offer any rescue line to those in foreclosure. What needs to be done is a readjustment of the mortgage principal so that people don't owe more for their mortgages than the amount of their home equity. So before Congress even considers a free trade pact with Colombia, Bush needs to do something about homeowners in peril.

Second. Colombia still suffers from death squads targeting trade union members and other campesinos. The extra-judicial killings of workers and farmers originally caused the FARC to come into existence to fight Colombia's injustice to the lower economic classes. Even today, campesinos are being killed by Colombia's army in an effort to show Bush/Cheney how much progress the government is making against FARC.

Third. The agreement between Bush and Colombia's president, Alvaro Uribe, is just a proxy for U.S. battle against Hugo Chavez and Venezuela. Bush is still fuming from Chavez calling him "Satan" and the greatest threat to peace in the whole world. That's why Condoleeza Rice recently termed Chavez "a very hostile" threat to the U.S. It is not because Chavez or Venezuela has actually done anything bad, it is all because Chavez insulted Bush during a U.N. forum. Bush's silly and amateurish foreign policy must not be allowed to succeed. Stop the campaign against Hugo Chavez. Don't allow the free trade pact with Colombia to be passed. It is only a slap at Venezuela.

Congress and Speaker Nancy Pelosi did the right thing to block Bush's scheme. The NY Times has got it wrong on Colombia.

No comments:

Post a Comment