Will Trump Deliver Colombian Aid Package Approved by Obama Administration? Uncertainty and Nervousness
From Verdad Abierta. The president-elect of the United States has said little or nothing about Colombia. Amid uncertainty and speculation, the embassy and social organizations in Washington have launched a campaign to rescue the package of aid proposed by the outgoing government of Barack Obama. Trump only referred to Colombia in a mid-June statement criticizing Hillary Clinton for backing the Free Trade Agreement. The reality is that beyond Mexico and the wall he proposed to build on the border, Trump has made very few mentions about Latin America.
Although in recent years there was a downward trend in the budget of aid being delivered to Colombia, in 2016 Obama proposed that package of US$450 million (well above the US$300 million approved in 2015), though less than the US$700 million that were delivered 10 years ago with Plan Colombia. The Senate and the House approved it, even adding another US$90 million thanks to the lobbying of human rights organizations working in Washington. By the end of the year, however, the budget for international assistance around the world was not approved because both parties failed to reach agreement. — something common in recent years.
It is expected that in the first half of 2017 all the uncertainties will be clarified and the government of Juan Manuel Santos will design a new strategy designed not to lose the US economic aid, necessary to implement the agreements reached with the FARC to guarantee, as Secretary of State John Kerry said , “A just and lasting peace for all Colombians”.