Outgoing US President Barack Obama has pledged U$S450 million toward joint-military and diplomatic initiative Plan Colombia’s new phase – a post-civil war Colombia. The decision was announced while celebrating the action’s 15th year with Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos in the White House.
“In the same way the United States has been a partner of Colombia in wartime, it will be a partner in peace,” Obama said.
These statements were made as part of the celebration of 15 years of Plan Colombia, an initiative conceived during the government of Colombian President Andrés Pastrana and could enter a second phase.
Santos meanwhile praised the “helping hand” of Obama and Washington, which for three decades sent U$S10 billion in military equipment, advisory and training services to the northern South American country.
Meanwhile the Santos government plans to sign a peace agreement with the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in late March.
“Today we see the future with hope,” Santos said, adding that, “peace will be the icing on the cake of Plan Colombia”. The new plan will be dubbed “Peace Colombia”.
“There Is Nothing to Celebrate”
In contrast, the Communist Party of the Andean country counter-argues that the political solution for peace requires an end to Plan Colombia, while called to establish new relations with the North American giant on an equal footing and with respect for national sovereignty.
“The US government should compensate thousands of survivors of the bombings, fumigation of coca crops, uprooting and forced displacement, essential part of the end of the war is concluded, the hidden counterinsurgency order after the program launched by Washington and Bogota, “insisted the organization.
In the communist movement, rather than a new Plan Colombia whose intent is to manually review the agreement and peace process, the South American country should look independantly into the world and raise alternative cooperation and assistance initiatives that benefit overcoming social inequalities and allowing the recovery of common goods from the hands of trans-nationals.
Another challenge is to support regional integration in the context of Union of South American Nations (UNASUR; an intergovernmental regional organization headed by Colombian ex-President Ernesto Samper) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC; a populous-origin alternative organization to Washington-headquartered Organization of the American States / OAS).