Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Funding Peace vs. Funding War

At the UN, President Obama rightly listed support for the Colombian peace process and opening up to Cuba as important achievements of his presidency.

We opened relations with Cuba, helped Colombia end Latin America's longest war, and we welcome a democratically elected leader of Myanmar to this Assembly. 

Unfortunately, Republicans oppose the Colombia deal (which is enshrined in their platform) and after years of funding war, appear to be unwilling to fund peace.

The US president has also vowed to increased aid for Colombia’s peace process, but Obama left unsaid that he may not be able to follow through on his $450 million aid pledge. 
While the $352 million typically sent via Plan Colombia will continue, the Republican-dominated Congress is unlikely to approve the additional $90 million before elections in November, leaving the budget to the discretion of Obama’s successor.

As for Cuba, Donald Trump has already shifted on that, moving from support to opposition.

The bottom line is that both initiatives were sharp turns away from past U.S. policy practices, were highly popular in Latin America, and were non-military. As a result, they're controversial.


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