AMERICA'S QUIET OCCUPATION OF COLOMBIA
"With a hodgepodge of treaties and projects, such as the International Law Enforcement Academy and the Merida Initiative, Obama is continuing the policies of his predecessors, spending millions to integrate the region's military, policy, intelligence and even, through Patriot Act-like legislation, judicial systems," writes historian Greg Grandin, a New York University professor.
The fountainhead of this effort is Plan Colombia, a multibillion-dollar U.S. aid package that over the past decade "has failed to stem the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States,"Grandin says, noting that more Andean coca was synthesized into cocaine in 2008 than in 1998. . .
"Colombia remains the hands-down worst repressor in Latin America," Grandin asserts. "More than 500 trade unionists have been executed since (Alvaro) Uribe took office. In recent years 195 teachers have been assassinated, and not one arrest has been made for the killings. And the military stands accused of murdering more than 2,000 civilians and then dressing their bodies in guerrilla uniforms in order to prove progress against the FARC."
"Unable or unwilling to make concessions on these and other issues important to Latin America---normalizing relations with Cuba, for instance, or advancing immigration reform---the White House is adopting an increasingly antagonistic posture,"Grandin explains. He notes that after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Brazil, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Latin Americans to "think twice" about "the consequences" of engagement with Iran. An Argentine diplomat responded, "The Obama administration would never talk to European countries that way."