On Fox News Thursday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told host Bret Baier that he had a better idea for U.S. border defense than a wall:
“The best wall that you can build is economic development in Central America and South America,” Santos responded when asked for his thoughts on the wall.
“I urge President Trump and all of the United States to look more to the south,” he told Baier. “The strategic interests of the United States are much more important in the south, in Latin America, than many parts of the world.”
“If you see that, then you won’t need walls,” the Colombian leader concluded.
Still, Santos expressed optimism about his meeting with President Trump earlier in the day, saying it “ratified” the commitment and “special relationship” of cooperation between the two countries.
Santos isn’t exactly wrong. Obviously, a thriving economy in Central and Latin America would minimize the desire to trek towards the promised land of the United States. That’s why Canadians aren’t streaming south.
Of course, we can’t help but recognize that a beneficiary of such development would be Santos himself. To be sure, the Columbian people would definitely be winners in such a scenario, but so would Santos. In any nation with the trappings of being a democratic republic, leaders tend to keep their jobs when the money is flowing in. Such cash could even minimize Santos’ campaign finance scandal from earlier this year.
Of course, the problems south of the border has never been “not enough attention from the United States,” but a failure of those countries to grasp that the securing of the individual’s life, liberty, and property rights is why the bounty is up here in the first place.
Santos’ suggestion for President Trump sounds like the tactic that much of the world’s leaders use: bribe his people with the largesse of the world’s greatest country instead of using the U.S. as the instruction manual for his own country’s development.