While Colombia, the U.S.'s staunchest ally in the Hemisphere, is held out as some beacon of democracy in Latin America, the facts on the ground tell a very different story. Of course, you will rarely hear those facts, or about Colombia at all, given the general laziness and slavishness of our main stream media, so here they are.
A rose-tinted view of Plan Colombia severely neglects the detrimental humanitarian toll it has had on the country's rural poor. If the United States is to be effective in supporting its South American ally during its peaceful transition, "Peace Colombia" demands a better understanding than its predecessor of the local realities in the areas where its efforts and dollars are likely to be focused.
CARACAS, Venezuela -- In the span of a few hours the 17-year stranglehold of an opprobrious regime on Venezuelan voters was broken, democracy could breathe again, tears were shed, flags waved and in the land of Bolívar the tide of history turned. Things will not be transformed overnight, but they will never be the same again in Venezuela or Latin America: change has come and it is here to stay.
We are now more than two years into the Colombian peace talks. Meeting in Havana, negotiators for the Colombian government and its principal antagonist, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), have been trying to agree upon an intricate deal to end the country's long-running armed conflict.
Last Friday, The Financial Action Task Force congratulated Cuba -- along with Argentina, Ethiopia, Tajikistan and Turkey -- for taking such strong actions to police its financial system that it will no longer be subject to the monitoring of its efforts against money-laundering and terrorist finance.