News from Colombia

September 1, 2009 at 10:09 am (Colombia, News, Politics) (, )

The Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe Velez, has H1N1. He was coughing throughout a meeting of South American leaders and was diagnosed soon after. Sure, it’s just the (swine) flu.

But it’s kind of a bad time for him to be sick, with Hugo Chavaz spitting out threats and other neighbouring countries freaking out over this government’s decision to rent out army bases to U.S. troops.

While it’s true relations between the former cocaine capital of the world and Venezuela haven’t been very peachy for a long time, Chavaz is going a little overboard. He says the invitation to American soldiers is basically asking for war on the continent.

U.S. troops have been in South America for years, however. They’re only changing addresses after Brazil decided not to renew leases. Chavaz, who is extremely anti-American and doesn’t try to hide it, is obviously not pleased with Uribe’s decision to get cozier with the U.S.

I know next to nothing about politics on this side of the world, but I’ve heard only glowing reports about Uribe’s progress since his election seven years ago. His popularity rating has hovered around 70 per cent. He has apparently done more than any former leader to clean up the drug trade, though there is still plenty of progress to be made.

Colombia will have presidential elections in May next year, and though Uribe already successfully amended the constitution to allow for two consecutive terms, he’s pushing for a referendum to allow a third one. With his accomplishments and popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised if he won – both the chance and the mandate to return to office.

Next year, the country will also be celebrating its 200th anniversary of independence.

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1 Comment

  1. Brenda said,

    Hi Cheryl,
    I’m from Cali-Colombia and currently I live in Ottawa with my husband and kids. My parents and other family live in Cali.
    I knew about you reading the article “Trading the capital for Colombia” which got my attention last month.

    I’m glad you are enjoying the warm city ( very hot actually). I’m sure you are going to make a lot of friends and have fun there.

    If you need anything ( advise, places to go, etc ) please let me know.

    Regards,

    BV

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