As if Donald Trump had not stirred up enough tensions across the globe, he decided to insert himself into a vicious Latin American tug of war. Last weekend, the president held a stealth meeting with two ex-presidents of Columbia at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
By inserting himself into the mix, Trump may well destroy a fragile peace agreement between the Colombian government and the rebels. Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said:
‘They were there with a member from the club.” Next month, Trump has scheduled a meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. The South American leader wants Trump to get behind the peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. He also wants the $450 million that President Barack Obama promised in foreign aid.
The Colombian media reported that Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida arranged the meeting between 45 and former Colombian presidents, Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana. According to the Miami Herald, Pastrana tweeted Trump, thanking him for the:
‘Cordial and very frank conversation.’
Rubio’s wife came from Columbia, and he does not support the peace process. He notes that the US identified the insurgency as a foreign terrorist organization. The US has given Columbia over $10 billion aid since 2000. Rubio does not support releasing the additional $450 million until the US stops supporting the guerilla group.
Uribe’s former vice president Francisco Santos said it was vital that US leadership understand the whole picture of Columbia’s situation. The two former presidents believe that the peace accord has damaged the Latin situation. Santos told the Miami Herald:
‘We’re very worried. You have a perfect storm, and the government says everything is going fine and we’re living in peace. And that’s not true.’
In a letter to US leaders, which he put on Twitter, Uribe wrote that Santos’ actions could turn Columbia into an authoritarian state.
Executive director for watchdog Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Noah Bookbinder told the Miami Herald:
‘It suggests that the people who patronize the president’s businesses have more influence than the rest of us.
Check out this video of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer trying to defend Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago:
Spicer says the W.H. is transparent about Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits—but they typically don’t even confirm if he’s gone golfing. pic.twitter.com/Ocar1m8XI9
— RogelioGarcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) April 17, 2017
Featured Image: Forbes Twitter Page.
H/T: Miami Herald.