February 22, 2018

Trump Holds Joint Appearance With Colombian President

20 May 2017, 09:36 | Taylor George

Trump may also seek Colombia's help stemming the flow of drugs into the USA from Latin America.

In spite of tensions over the wall, the two presidents repeatedly affirmed that in their meeting they had strengthened the alliance between Colombia and the U.S.

The United States has been a critical supporter of Colombia's efforts to fight the communist rebel group the United Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), under the auspices of the controversial Plan Colombia, a partnership that was criticized for focusing too heavily on military solutions, leading to human rights violations.

President Santos will seek to renew the $450 million dollars in foreign aid promised by the USA government in support of the peace deal between FARC and the government of Colombia. He also expressed great gratitude for "Peace Colombia", and outlined the many positive impacts this support from the USA had on the development and progression of Colombia and its citizens.

Pastrana's account, however, breaks with the White House's own. Santos will argue that USA support remains vital as the country tries to reintegrate former guerrillas into civilian life and provide farmers with alternatives to producing coca, the raw material for making cocaine.

Pure cocaine production has also surged, increasing by 37 percent.

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Whereas other US administrations have provided major political, financial and military support to Colombia, the Trump administration's position has been largely unclear with some interpreting his unannounced April meeting with former Colombian presidents Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana as an indication of his lack of support for peace.

Mr. Pinzon dismissed the suggestion that the former presidents had influence with the Trump administration. "And second, I think support in Congress speaks better than any other opposing idea". I think it divides the country.

"The only people that will benefit are our drug traffickers and criminals", he said.

In describing conversations with skeptical members of Congress, Pinzon has argued that the rise in cocaine is precisely why the US can not pull back support from Colombia now. I will say it a little bit shorter.

President Donald Trump has responded with a direct "no, no" to a question about whether he asked former FBI Director James Comey to shelf an investigation into his former national security adviser.

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