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Sunday, April 22, 2007


For a man who had just been snubbed by former Vice President Al Gore and is facing one of the worst political crises of his presidency, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe looked pretty confident in an interview Friday -- perhaps too confident for his country's own good. Read what Uribe told me in a 40-minute interview, my opinion about it, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Hey åndêrš, ålvarø ůribë can run for office as many times as he wants, as far as I am concerned. And so long as the Columbian populace wants him there.
Why don't you tell us what Columbia and the rest of Latin America has given the world?

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Upon Uribe the murder rate has gone down since he took office. I ask myself: Why is the UN asking Argentina and many other countries to receive Colombians refugees?

Colombia´s Plan has only produced more violence in the region. The refugees are its irrefutable evidence.

As a close ally of Bush he also uses to break the law in order to win his own battles. When the victory has been far away he just sent the paramilitary to do the dirty job. One of these days he also will send the prisoners to Guantanamo!!!

No one can believe that a 40 years old guerrilla fight can be solved with more violence. If were possible, Israel would be ended many years ago the Palestinian conflict.

This kind of solutions can only bring good results just for a short term. At longer terms they only bring hate and a deep pain undermining the dream of a lasting peace.

I hope Uribe or his successor can see the South American Union as an important part of the solution (the messianic populist neighbors included).

Maybe a South American Solution can be a lasting of the North American Colombia´s Plan, and could also be a sign of maturity of our Union.


Ruben P.
Rosario – Argentina

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Rübên, what would be your plan to stabilize Columbia?
My plan would be to develop a large nerd/scientist class and to breed out the viscous, violent people. That's the only way the craziness and anarchy will ever change in Latin America.
You people need more Ernesto Zedillos and less Hector "macho" Camachos.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Cariduro said...

Hello Mr Oppenheimer, I enjoy your columns very much but the
conclusion to your interview with President Alvaro Uribe was
disappointing. Disclosure: I am not Colombian, have never been there,
and I'm not associated with anyone in Colombia or its government. In
my opinion Presidente Uribe has been one of the most effective
Colombian leaders in recent memory. Your interview with him pointed
some of his notable achievements and yet you decide to conclude in
typical "drive by" media by going off topic demanding an answer to
your liking and making scandalous accusations when he refuses to fall
in your trap by simply refusing to answer your question.

You somewhat insinuate to your readers that Mr Uribe must be no
different than his neighbor who actively makes a mockery of democracy.
Well shame on you Mr Oppenheimer! I personally believe history will
judge him as a great leader, Colombians seem to think he is and he is
accountable to them! He just got a elected to his second historic term
and didn't have to rely on unscrupulous shenanigans to do so unlike
some latin american presidents in recent history. Stick to your topic
and if you really want to discuss the possibility of a third term
(which I believe is not possible under the constitutional reform that
permitted a second term) then I suggest you get with his office to set
up an appointment to discuss that very topic.

Don't insult the intelligence of your readers by even suggesting
there's a parallel between Uribe and Chavez. They are clearly of a
different caliber and we all know which one is the charlatan. Thank

9:43 PM  
Blogger ALlinas said...

Andres Oppenheimer
The Miami Herald

As a United States citizen who has lived in Colombia and witnessed the frustration that is felt when you live in a country that has been at war for over forty years, I feel inclined to offer an opinion on former Vice President Al Gore and his snubb to Alvaro Uribe, presently President of Colombia. Do people know the History?

In the time that I lived in Colombia friends had their children kidnapped on there way to or from school, and husbands traveling on business trips were de-planed, and never made it home. Company employees were kidnapped and pumped for personal and economic information about their employers. On one occasion a friend, who was a bank manager, was ambushed at the grocery store and held for 24 hours so they could find out about customer bank accounts. The people responsible for these kidnappings were the leftitst guerrilla groups. You were told not to trust anyone, your domestic staff, building security, or street vendors. People were told to be cautious about their movements in the city otherwise you could end up “vacationing” in the infamous “Hotel La Sierra” in the Andes mountains.

Some families who had the economic means decided to pay to have private armed security for their children, wives, executives. Their cities were at a stand-still and their agriculture almost abandoned. The United States warned their citizens to not travel to Colombia and american companies planned to transfer elsewhere.

The one thing the Colombian community knew was that the leftist guerrilla groups wanted to kidnap anyone who could provide an economic improvement to their cause. As a Mafia demands payment, they too demanded extortion moneys, and kidnappings, if they felt an increase was needed from you. Like a cancerous tumor their threat grew!

The right-wing paramilitaries were a group that formed originally from peasants who had their villages and families wiped out by the leftist guerrillas in an effort to clear areas for their drug production. They hated these leftist guerrilla with a vengeance and sought to wipe them out.

At the same time affluent citizens formed citizen crime-watch groups to find means to improve security and the economic situation in their cities. They had heard that in areas controlled by paramilitaries, people were living almost a normal life. The paramilitaries required a contribution fee to help support their living expenses. It was the lesser of two evils and eventually became today’s nightmare…

After Mr. Uribe was elected governor of his state, Antioquia, the insecurity and bad publicity of the Pablo Escobar era improved immensely. This is a courageous man. When he was first elected President he was the light at the end of the tunnel…and for this reason re-elected. Al Gore’s snubb was not only to Alvaro Uribe, but to the people who elected him.
Alma Llinas

11:25 PM  

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