Friday, July 14, 2006

Pastrana resigns

Colombia’s ambassador to the U.S. (and former Colombian president) Andres Pastrana resigned, protesting the fact that another former president, Ernesto Samper, was named ambassador to France. The Clinton administration believed Samper received money from the Cali cartel during his administration (for a nice analysis of U.S.-Colombian relations during that time, see Russell Crandall’s Driven by Drugs). The Colombian Congress, however, did not impeach him.

At Plan Colombia and Beyond, Adam Isacson offers a really interesting discussion of that development. In particular:

--despite all the news about how Uribe’s victory was also a victory for the Bush administration (since it was not “leftist”) the Colombian president is showing very clearly that he is willing to do things the Bush administration really doesn’t like.

--there is reason to believe that Pastrana wanted an excuse to resign, but it’s not clear why.

--it’s not entirely clear what Uribe had to gain by naming Samper (though the comments in Plan Colombia and Beyond offer some speculation).


Camilo Pino 8:45 PM  

Pastrana's objectives?
-To establish himself as undisputed leader of the Conservative party with this moralistic gesture.
-To get Samper's head (he has wanted it for long time).

Greg Weeks 8:51 PM  

But doesn't it seem that he has failed on both counts?

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