April 22, 2009

OBAMA GETS ONE RIGHT:

Hugo Chavez may have gotten a grinning handshake from President Obama in Trinidad. But it was our authentic friend and ally, Colombia, that got substance. The president got one right. . . . It started Saturday, when he put himself next to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at lunch and then studiously exchanged notes.

Having listened to Uribe, (and that must have been a nice dose of sanity after enduring 50 minutes of ravings from Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, or weird conspiracy theories by Bolivia’s Evo Morales), Obama then seemed to realize that the long-stalled Colombia free trade agreement should have been passed yesterday.

The president announced that his team must find a way to pass the agreement. With world trade down 80%, the pact opens new markets to the U.S. He demanded immediate action, asking Colombia’s trade minister to fly to Washington this week.

Then it got even better: Obama invited Uribe to the White House and promised to visit Colombia himself, allowing the Colombians to lay out for him their vast economic and social progress, and their desire to integrate into global trade.

Good for him. The Colombians deserve better treatment than they’ve received.

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