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9/14/08

Applause for Alvaro Uribe, Colombia and the rest of UNASUR

The first time I've shown a non-silly pose photo of Uribe on site.
Credit where credit is due.

Better late than never, perhaps, but now that Colombia has spoken out on Bolivia it's done so with gravity. Importantly, President Alvaro Uribe has decided to stop whatever he was doing and will also be at the hastily convened UNASUR meeting tomorrow. This decision should be roundly applauded by everybody, both for its gesture of solidarity towards Bolivia and the region as well as its clear symbolic message to those outside looking in. I salute Uribe's decision.

As for that meeting tomorrow, eight of the twelve Presidents that are members of Unasur have confirmed their presence: Cristina Fernández (Argentina), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Alvaro Uribe (Colombia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay), Tabaré Vázquez (Uruguay), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela) and of course the host Michelle Bachelet (Chile).

Somewhat ironically Evo Morales has not yet confirmed his presence, as he will decide at the last minute whether to attend. As you might imagine, he has a few things to deal with right now.

Word from Lima is that Alan García will not attend but will be represented by his Chancellor. However Peru and García did emit another press release today showing strong, total support for Morales and Bolivia. We'll let this one pass Alan, ok? The other two members of UNASUR, Suriname and Guyana, have not yet confirmed their attendance.

Back to Uribe&Co, and Colombia also issued a communiqué today which is totally supportive of the Morales administration, including:

"Faced with the occurances presented in the sister Republic of Bolivia, Colombia wishes to express to the government and nation of Bolivia its support of President Morales, the democratic institutions and to the state of curfew (in the Pando department)." (Colombia) has also suffered through violence and does not wish this lamentable flagellation on any brother people."

I have high hopes for the meeting tomorrow. Let there be peace, and let there be peace brokered by Latin America for Latin America.