Ambassador Pinzón: “US stands to gain from Colombia’s ongoing rise to prosperity”

The HillThe U.S.-Colombia relationship is the most important strategic partnership in the Western Hemisphere. It is a partnership that has grown in significance and strength over the past 20 years, and it is a partnership that stands to continue strengthening during the Trump administration and the 115th Congress.

Built on a solid foundation of shared values, our partnership has allowed us to promote security, peace and prosperity in both of our countries, throughout the hemisphere and around the world. No longer just a recipient of American aid, Colombia is a leading ally and strategic partner for the United States.

Colombia has stepped in to help nations in Central America, the Caribbean and around the world confront security challenges; we have exchanged our experience with NATO; and we are creating a mutually beneficial climate for business and investment. The many roles Colombia assumes on the world stage today advance the interests of both of our nations. …

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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.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.