Lawmakers Seek More Aid To Colombia

Lawmakers Seek More Aid To Colombia
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2005 at 13:02:28 PT
By Pablo Bachelet
Source: Miami Herald
Washington, D.C. -- Four influential members of Congress have sent a letter requesting $150 million in additional U.S. military aid for Colombia, providing a boost to President Alvaro Uribe's uphill efforts to obtain more equipment for his anti-drug aerial spraying program.The letter, addressed to Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, says it is ''in our nation's interest'' to provide Colombia with the additional funding next year for Plan Colombia, a program aimed at reducing drug trafficking.
The letter, signed by the chairmen of two committees and two subcommittees, says Colombia needs new equipment to set up a drug eradication base. President Bush has already asked for $589 million for Colombia in his budget request, about $60 million less than what Colombia was allotted for this year, according to the Center for International Policy, a group that monitors Plan Colombia funding.The letter comes after the Appropriations Committee has already decided to cut Bush's foreign aid request by $2.5 billion, reducing the money available for Plan Colombia.''Historically, we have supported Plan Colombia,'' said John Scofield, a spokesman for the committee. ``The budget [this year] is lean.''The United States has contributed more than $3 billion to Colombia since the launch in 2000 of Plan Colombia, a program criticized by some groups for relying too much on aerial spraying of drug crops and on military aid. The Latin America Working Group, an advocacy organization that is lobbying Congress against Plan Colombia, says U.S. policy toward Colombia is ``pouring fuel on the fire.''The additional funds would be used to buy four AT802 Air Tractor fumigation airplanes and six Huey II and two Black Hawk helicopters, among other equipment.The letter was signed by Reps. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House International Relations Committee; Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the House Government Reform Committee; Dan Burton, R-Ind., chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of the House International Relations Committee, and Mark Souder, R-Ind., chairman of the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, of the Government Reform Committee.''Colombia is a key to stability in the Andean region of South America,'' the letter, dated May 13, says. ``We believe that it is in our nation's interest to respond positively to President Uribe's request.''Recent numbers show that farmers are replanting coca crops that have been sprayed, and U.S. officials admit that there are too few aircraft to go back to respray them.The Bush administration has taken a cautious stance on the funding request. Speaking to reporters after a hearing last week on Plan Colombia, White House drug czar John Walters said that getting the new aircraft into the field would take months. Note: Colombia's bid for more U.S. anti-drug assistance gained support from four key members of Congress.Source: Miami Herald (FL)Author: Pablo BacheletPublished: Thursday, May 19, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Miami HeraldContact: heralded herald.comWebsite: Related Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News's Drug Plan Collapses in Chaos The Balloon, Not Popping It Czar: No Impact from Effort in Colombia
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Comment #1 posted by BGreen on May 21, 2005 at 04:18:37 PT
Imprison Our Own Citizens
and we'll just poison the rest of the freakin' world.Christ Jesus was not a liar nor a murderer. Christ Jesus would neither incarcerate humans nor cause humans to face a horrendously painful death by poison just to destroy plants created by THE Creator, God Almighty.Anybody proclaiming to be a Christian that promotes incarceration and death for the plant creations of God is a FALSE christian.Because the obvious isn't at all obvious to those deceived by the forces of darkness, let me spell it out for you.You are the anti-christ, each and every one of you lying murderers. You don't know Christ Jesus because your actions never include grace, mercy or peace, let alone truth or love.2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.The Reverend Bud Green
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