It is unsurprising, then, that Santos’ meeting with Trump reflected ignorance and a revanchist return to militarized policies that run counter to the tenets of Colombia’s peace agreement. It was a meeting of dangerous political posturing that indicates the direction of U.S. policy in Colombia and beyond. It took years for the U.S. to get on board with the peace process in Colombia, even symbolically – and a shift backwards towards remilitarization in the country would undermine the peace process and cost lives. If we are listening to the ongoing protests across Colombia, the rise of coca production is not the current preeminent concern of Colombians, and military force is certainly not the answer. NACLA
"The Trump administration would be wise to steer clear of internal divides within a polarized Colombia and keep its eye on the prize — the opportunity for peace after half a century of war," Virginia Bouvier, senior advisor for peace processes at the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace, told The Times via email. She said it was not clear the episode would have an impact on U.S. relations with Colombia, but that it was likely to deepen the political divide within Colombia as the nation attempts to recover from a conflict that cost more than a quarter of a million lives and brought the nation to the brink of collapse. Los Angeles Times
The President of the US, Donald Trump, welcomed on Good Friday Colombian former presidents Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana to the Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. First to speak publicly about the meeting was Mr. Pastrana, who thanked in his Twitter the magnate for, "the cordial and very frank conversation." Sources of the meeting, however, have confirmed to El País the presence of Mr. Uribe who has described it as a "social gathering" that came about through an "invitation from a third party."El País.
Colombia's Ambassador to the United States, Juan Carlos Pinzón, said in Medellin that after the telephone conversation between Presidents Donald Trump and Juan Manuel Santos both governments have agreed to a visit by the Colombian president to the White House in the coming months. According to the diplomat, the main topic of discussions will be the 'Colombia Peace' initiative. They will also examine more immediate economic situations such as investments, employment generation and tourism promotion. Caracol Radio
The High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, has stated that despite the arrival of Donald Trump to the White House, the USA will continue supporting the peace process and the Colombian government during the post-conflict. Jaramillo stated that the peace process is solidly structured and for that reason it will "survive the changes in the USA", after the assumption to power of Donald Trump. "Beyond obvious ideological differences between the Obama and Trump administration, the USA will continue supporting the process and the nation". RNC Radio
There is not one single word that refers to the peace process, or to the supposed US$450 million promised by Obama for "Peace Colombia". This item has been reduced to US$370 million and has not yet been approved by the Congress. Trump is only interested in ending drug trafficking, which is difficult if one takes into consideration that coca cultivation tripled in two years, and aerial fumigation is ruled out as a concession to the FARC. Fanny Kertzman. Dinero
While Colombians have had a good laugh at the fake meeting between the two most vociferous leaders of the opposition to the Peace Process (former presidents Andrés Pastrana and Alvaro Uribe, who is currently a senator), La Silla Vacía deconstructs the event drawing five lessons.
Santos said he asked Trump to support approval of the Colombia peace plan in the US Congress. “(Trump) said he was very interested and would take charge of it personally,” said Santos, who added that Trump extended an invitation for him to visit the White House. The United States has pledged $450 million to support implementation of the peace agreement. The Guardian