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Thursday, June 01, 2006

COLUMN: THE DANGER OF URIBE'S LANDSLIDE VICTORY

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the biggest threat to U.S.-backed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe following his landslide reelection Sunday will not be his country's Marxist guerrillas but the temptation to seek a third term in office. Uribe, who was reelected by a 40-point margin over his closest rival, will control nearly 80 percent of Congress. He will have a hard time resisting claims by his most fervent followers that he is ''el hombre indispensable'' (the indispensable man) to get Colombia out of its historic quagmire. Read the full column in The Miami Herald.

13 Comments:

Blogger VenePana.com said...

Uribe knows the dangers of changing the constitution for a third term. The challenge will be creating a strong political party that will build on the solid concrete slab Uribe has poured. Two terms will allow this slab to fully cure and create a stable foundation to erect Colombia to new heights.

1:33 PM  
Blogger A.M. Mora y Leon said...

Too pessimistic, Andres.

Don't you even know the guy? Just read his statements, he is trying to do the right things in all matters, why wouldn't he try in this one, too? He's like Lincoln.

What's the point of getting rid of guerrillas if a crummy political system replaces them? Everything Uribe is doing suggests that he wants a good system to be in its place so that more crummy guerrilla groups don't form.

I think he knows the examples of Peru and Argentina and other places and will strive to avoid such pitfalls. He's not a guy with a closed mind who does not learn.

Once Chavez is out of the picture (did you see the figures on the pro-Uribe vote in the places where Chavez is most menacing?) the danger should lessen as the guerrillas get stomped out and the war gets won.

Dollars to donuts, Chavez won't last as long as an Uribe second term. He's made too big of a mess.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Abdres:
I think you and those who have expressed concerns in this regard are not being fair both to Uribe and the Colombian people. Colombia has never lacked able political leaders and there is nothing in Uribe that suggests that he would do something like this. Changing the constitution both in Colombia and Argentina to allow for a second term makes perfect sense since almost every developed democracy, including ours, allows a one time re-election. By the way, I believe it was Clinton who recently made some comments about allowing US Presidents to run for a third time after being out of office for one term.
There is a huge difference between this healthy democratic debate and the autocratic intentions of both Fujimori and Chavez.
I think we should trust that Uribe will do what is best for Colombia and based on his actions I am sure you will concede that he has proven to be a very able politician and reliable democrat.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Sorry for the typo. it is ....over 100 years ago"....

10:05 PM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

a.m mora y leon:

I noticed that sometimes you include links to documents and other sites in you comments. Could you teach me how to do that?
Send me the information to starstripes@bellsouth.net so we do not take space in Mr. Oppenheimer blog.
Thank you in advance for your help and best regards

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Eduardo said...

Las personas que hablan español y leen en esta lengua con mayor fluidez pueden ver el mismo texto de este weblog en la página que he creado atento a lo que Andres Oppenheimer sugirió la semana pasada. Que alguien se encargue de traducirla. Gracias.
La página estará vgente siempre que Oppenheimer esté de acuerdo con esto. he dejado constancia que los comentarios no tienen moderación en mi página porque no se si tendré tiempo de trabajar en la moderación y además la palabra "moderación" es muy subjetiva. Si borraré inmediatamente cualquier insulto. Corcialmente y con todos mis respetos.

http://andresoppenheimer-es.blogspot.com/

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Eduardo said...

Sunday, 4 2006 - 9:00 AM
The Oppeheimer Report Weblog in Spanish is ready to be read.
"Las Proyecciones para el 2007"

http://andresoppenheimer-es.blogspot.com/

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Eduardo said...

Ok. Mousqueton. This is a sample link.
The Oppenheimer Report was written by me in Spanish. People who read and write in Spanish and want to leave comments please go to:
El Informe Oppenheimer
See how you an American Citizen can learn from me a Latin American (Argentinien). That's how cultures are able to live together.
And I keep learning English....

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Mousqueton said...

Hey Eduardo:

I sincerely appreciate your help.

As for Americans learning from Argentineans, let me just say the following.

My life would not be the same with out the exquisite prose of Borges, unfairly deprived of a Nobel Prize, and the books of Robert Arlt and Ricardo Piglia.
I would certainly be a limited man, had I not experienced the joy from the music of Carlos Gardel, the Charchaleros and Mercedes Sosa.
I would die without having a taste of glory, had I not tried the “Matambre” and “Malbec” wine.

I would not know what a challenge is, should I have not tried to understand “Mufarda” and, last but not least, my perception of beauty would certainly be pitiful had I never seen an Argentinean woman.

Keep it coming, because I am ready and willing to learn.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Martín Vieira said...

I think the biggest danger for Uribe's 2nd presidential term wouldn't so much the possibility of a 3rd mandate, which is highly unlikely (Colombia's democratic institutions and people wouldn´t allow it), as the danger of an increasing power in politics of paramilitaries. They already controle 1/3 of the Congress and aren't controlled by the government. The peace process needs some form of amnisty and political participation of the pacified "autodefenses", but the danger is that these people continue illegal activities and use there enourmous power in an unethical way. Uribe's legacy, we hope, will be of solid institutions and greater peace in Colombia, but the danger is still the weakness of the State confronted to the strenght of illegal groups, which control half the country sumed up.

1:48 AM  
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12:22 AM  
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2:27 PM  
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5:37 PM  

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