Where the World's Views of America Come into Focus
Colombian Academics Warn Against Closer Ties With United States

The Colombian alliance with the U.S. is creating an 'over-emphasis' on bilateral ties with Washington at the expense of regional ties, according to Professor Socorro Ramirez, who took part in a university debate on the subject.

April 27, 2005

Original Article (Spanish)    

Bogota: Colombia should weigh the risk accepting the agenda of the United States, analysts say.

The warning was issued just before the arrival of the United States secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.

Member of academia, attending a debate at the Institute for Political Studies and International Relations at the Universidad de La Sabana [Colombia's National University], said that Presidente Alvaro Uribe is causing concern in the region because he endorses the American agenda, both in the anti-drug war and against insurgents.

They also criticized Colombia's endorsement of U.S. policy toward Venezuela, saying that it exacerbates relations between Colombia and its neighbors.

These were two of the concerns expressed by Professor Socorro Ramirez, who took part in the debate at the University of the Savannah.

"The huge presence of the United States has generated an overemphasis in bilateral relations, and has divided the region," Ramirez said, who asked that the government not miscalculate the true interests of the country in the Amazonian region.

Ramirez warned that [President] Uribe wants to strengthen the alliance between Colombia and the United States, because he agrees with Washington's plans.

Nevertheless, Ramirez said people who associate Colombia's terrorist battle with the America's international crusade against terrorism are mistaken.

During a recent meeting of the presidents of Venezuela, Brazil, Spain and Colombia in Guayana City, Venezuela, the consensus was to seek closer ties between the region's institutions and the European Union. Colombia also expressed its support for these intentions, but made it clear that such arrangements would not come at the expense of its alliance with the United States.

— BBC News Video: Colombian Rebels Reject Amnesty Offer, Apr. 11, 00:01:34

© Watching America all rights reserved. Disclaimer