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Colombia's president gets cold shoulder on the Hill

Bob Novak's column in the Washington Times (column not online) and elsewhere today tells of the cold shoulder Colombian President Alvaro Uribe received from Democratic leaders when he made the rounds yesterday on Capitol Hill to promote the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement.

Novak reported that Uribe was in a state of shock at his reception, and on a television interview his Vice President Francisco Santos threatened to cut ties with the U.S. if his country was rebuffed. Santos said—

. . . failure to ratify the free-trade agreement would "send a message to the external enemies of the United States" (meaning Venezuela's Chavez) that "this is how America treats its allies." He added that Colombia might "have to re-evaluate its relationship with the United States."

The treatment of Uribe and Colombia is indicative of how the Dems are treating close U.S. allies in demanding renegotiation of trade agreements. Even though the agreements with Colombia, Peru, and Panama are signed, the Democratic leadership has said they need to be renegotiated to insert stringent and enforceable labor and environmental provisions. Does this sound like a good way to keep friends and allies in Latin America? And just wait until the Korea FTA gets dissed. Another slap in the face for an important ally is expected.