The nation of Colombia has been a success story the last 20 years. Starting with the rise of the Rightwing paramilitary United Self Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) that began to push back the Marxist guerrillas the FARC and enabling Alvaro Uribe to win the Presidency in 2002, Colombia has changed for the better. No longer the criminal cesspool it once was, it has become one of the safest nation on Earth now, although in all honesty it is a Rightwing crypto-Police State. This is needed as there are trouble makers in Colombian society who want to disrupt the economic and social progress Colombia has made. Colombia has averaged GDP growth of 4-6% annually, its unemployment rate is at historic lows of 8.8%, compared with 22% a decade ago.
The biggest troublemakers in Colombia are NGOs. These groups try to whip up sentiment against major parties in Colombia, most of whom range from center-right to Nationalist right. In the most recent Colombian election in June, the libertarian leaning ruling party Social National Unity Party faced off against the Russian backed Democratic Center Party which is nationalist and envisions Colombia taking back lost provinces that are now the nations of Panama, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru and Bolivia. The politics of that nation skews to the Right, hence the Leftist NGOs want to change that.
The opening shots of the demonization of Colombia has been taken by the Guardian. This rag which is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Transnational Progressive movement, has an article trashing Colombia. It is whining about the Rightwing death squads and the pockets of poverty left in Colombia. The article advocates that US and UK break relations with Colombia. This would be a huge mistake, as Colombia would quickly align with Putin’s Russia, whom they ideologically are close to.
The Colombian port of Buenaventura is a place of misery and fear. Four-fifths of the mainly black population live in dire poverty and paramilitary gangs exercise a reign of terror. Most of Colombia’s imports come through the port, which is being massively expanded to meet the demands of new free trade agreements.
But there’s no sign of any benefit in Buenaventura’s slums, whose deprivation is reminiscent of the worst of Bangladesh. Most of the city’s population have no sewerage and many no power. Tens of thousands have been forced off their land around the city to make way for corporate “megaprojects”.
Most horrifically, paramilitaries have been dismembering those who cross them with chainsaws in shacks known as chophouses. The police admit a dozen have met these grisly deaths in recent months, but Buenaventura’s bishop says the real figure is far higher.
The government insists the rightwing paramilitary groups that have terrorised Colombia’s opposition have been dissolved. But in Buenaventura, they can be seen openly fraternising with soldiers on the streets, and they even publish their own newspaper.
Colombian officials talk peace and human rights with an evangelical zeal and a dizzying array of flipcharts. But, as one independent report after another confirms, there is a chasm between the spin and life on the ground. Laws are not implemented or abusers prosecuted. Thousands of political prisoners languish in Colombia’s jails. Political, trade union and social movement activists are still routinely jailed or assassinated.
A quarter of a million have died in Colombia’s war, the large majority of them at the hands of the army, police and government-linked paramilitaries. Five million have been forced from their homes. Although the violence is down from its peak, the killing of human rights and union activists has actually increased in the past year.
One of those jailed is the trade union and opposition leader Huber Ballesteros, arrested last year as he was about to travel to Britain to address the Trades Union Congress. Speaking in La Picota prison in Bogotá last week, Ballesteros told me: “There is no democracy in Colombia, we are confronting a dictatorship with a democratic face.”
Seumas Milne is just whining the Colombians do not tolerate Leftist trouble makers. They either jail or put bullets in heads of Leftist filth. I have predicted here on this blog, that an anti-Colombia campaign will begin. The NGOs will begin in social media and Lefty blogs to put sob stories about how mean the Colombians are.
The real reason Colombia will be demonized is becasue it is a Latin America success story. What the anti-Colombian critics will soon realize, that Colombians don’t put up with insults and many of the critics will end up dead.
Colombia is proof that free markets combined with rule of law and National Unity leads to success. Funny, that’s how America used to be before our 2 major parties decided to divide Americans for political purposes! I wish the American Right would support their ideological brethren in Colombia, but I will not hold my breath.