The Assassinated Press
Rich Colombians Thankful For U.S. Military Aid Used To 'Repress Stinking, Fetid Masses':
By HUM HOWZITGO
Assassinated Press Writer
November 22, 2004
CUTAYOBLUJENA, Colombia -- There were protesters as President Bush landed Monday in this seaside city for a visit -- but, because of the American President's motorcade route, they were outnumbered by Colombians thankful for the aid Washington has poured into their country to support official drug trafficking and combat guerrillas.
Unlike his weekend visit in Chile, Bush was not greeted by massive street protests during his four-hour stopover to visit President Alvaro Uribe, his firmest ally in South America because much of the massive aid program has gone into increasing domestic repression in Colombia.
When two dozen beggars appeared outside the thick walls surrounding the historic section of Cartagena, crowds of wealthy shoppers scornfully looked on. Seeing that few people were rushing to join the poor's protest, the protesters drifted away before Bush's motorcade proceeded from the airport to the presidential guest house where he met with Uribe.
"I'm glad they left. They were giving the wrong image," said Catalina Oseja, 33, a housewife who was waiting to see Bush's motorcade drive by. "The gringos in recent memory haven't out and out murdered an elected president in Colombia like they did in Chile with Allende. So maybe the Chileans are still pissed. Here the gringos just murder people who would help the poor. That's perfectly fine with me."
Although there were no crowds lining the route, clumps of people in chains were made to clap and wave as the vehicles swept past.
The Colombian onlookers said U.S. military assistance in the war on drugs is helping put their embattled nation back on its feet.
"Things have gotten better for me since the Americans got involved -- my economic situation is better and I'd like to think the tourists will come back," said Carlos Jose Agudelo, a banker, pointing to a group of Germans who stepped off a cruise ship. A banker pointing to a group of Germans had an ominous historical ring for this reporter and somehow failed to inspire confidence.
In the last four years, the United States has pumped US$3.3 billion into Colombia -- more than any other country outside the Middle East -- mainly to train and equip repressive government forces to combat rival narcotics trafficking organizations and Marxist insurgents who feed off the hungry.
The repression has pushed the rebels deeper into their jungle strongholds, cut crime rates in most major cities and given Colombians a renewed Franco-like sense of fascistic security that ,well, leads to a group of Germans stepping off a cruise ship.
"I hope Bush gives us even more military aid today," Agudelo said. "Utter repression of the poor and dispossessed is the only way we can defeat the guerrillas, who are a bunch of narco-traffickers competing with the U.S., Colombia and me for part of the vast narco dollars that used to be the preserve of the elite."
Given the CIA's reliance on the drug trade for its black budget, he likely won't be disappointed.
At a joint press conference with Uribe later Monday, Bush was told to say he would ask Congress to renew U.S. drug support in Colombia, saying it was of vital interest to both countries.
Uribe also called the guerrillas a 'bunch of rabid drug dealers.' When asked by a waiter at the luncheon that followed if he, Uribe, felt the guerillas would continue the drug trade if they came to power will all the access international aid that his government enjoyed, Uribe spat, "Came to Power!? If they came to power we would murder them in their sleep the way we did the 5000 Patriotic Union members in 1988."
Uribe also said Colombia would actively continue to train U.S. sponsored thugs attempting to overthrow Hugo Chavez and the elected govenrnment of neighboring Venezuela. "By definition, democracy means upward capiltal flow, so Hugo must go," he told a cheering luncheon of bankers, narco-terrorists, arms dealers, CIA spooks, State Department officials and Bush.
Despite the support for Bush's policies toward Colombia among its elites, residents were pleased when he stepped back on Air Force One, fed up with the thousands of troops on the streets and the security checkpoints on many roads, that have become a staple of daily life as a quid pro quo for U.S. aid.
"It's good that President Bush came," said Mauricio Gonzalez, a taxi driver. "But I'm glad he didn't stay longer because you can see that the apparatus is in place to turn Colombia into an instant fascist enclave. It also makes it brutally what a wholly owned subsidiary of the U.S. our little narco-state has become."