Rubio tests his influence by backing Colombia peace deal before Trump

miami heraldWASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio threw his support behind Colombia’s peace process Tuesday, giving the Colombian government a major political boost as it seeks to persuade President Donald Trump to continue U.S. backing of the controversial plan.

In a speech, the Miami Republican remarked on the United State’s role in Colombia’s journey from a near failed state 15 years ago to a thriving success story that has is now one of the United States most important regional partners.

“All of that is a result of U.S. engagement, not U.S. disengagement,” Rubio told Latin American leaders at the 47th Annual Washington Conference on the Americas, co-hosted by the U.S. State Department and the Council of the Americas. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

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