Mary Anastasia O'Grady is one of my favorite columnists because she seems to be one of the few people on the planet with both a good knowledge of economics and South America. Obama being terribly misguided on the first and woefully ignorant on the second spewed some nonsense in the last debate, and she calls him on it. I have supported Colombia before and the Colombia FTA.
A few excerpts:
He reached into his memory bank for whatever he had been told to say about Colombia. He seems to have found his hard drive loaded with Big Labor talking points. Here's what it spit out: "The history in Colombia right now," he said, "is that labor leaders have been targeted for assassination, on a fairly consistent basis, and there have not been prosecutions."
By the time President Alvaro Uribe took office in August 2002, Colombia was almost a failed state. That year there were 28,837 homicides nationwide, making it one of the most dangerous places on planet Earth.
As a Journal editorial on Friday explained, from 2002 to 2007 the number of murdered Colombian union members dropped by almost 87%. By any fair standard that is progress, especially considering the pattern Mr. Uribe inherited. In 2000, 155 unionists were murdered and in 2001, 205 died. The numbers only started to come down when he took the helm.
We could help the economy a bit by passing the Colombia FTA, but I guess that helping a booming Colombia that has enacted rapid deregulation, free trade, and privitization would be an embarrassment for Leftist ideology.