The Blog

Uribe's Blowout

1:07 PM, May 31, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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A staunch U.S. ally, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe cruised to re-election winning by an astounding 40-point margin. A recent cover piece in The Economist reported on "The Battle for Latin America's Soul." Will the region go the way of Venezuela's Chavez and Bolivia's Morales or choose the path of friendlier relations with the U.S. and openness to foreign investment? Well, Colombians have made their decision. Under Uribe's leadership, Colombia has experienced strong economic growth -- 5.1 percent in 2005 -- and the FARC, which had used previous government "peace initiatives" to strengthen its position, has been severely weakened. This is quite a turn-a-round considering that only a few years back the FARC welcomed the newly elected Uribe by training mortars on his inaugural ceremony.

So let's see, voters in Canada and Colombia endorse pro-U.S. candidates. And Mexican voters are likely to elect a president who has sprinted ahead in the polls by portraying his opponent as a Hugo Chavez wannabe. Uncle Sam is on a roll.