It seems even the LA Time is getting wise to Colombia as a vacation destination. (Original Story)
On the beach and in the streets, women carrying baskets of tropical fruit on their heads offer you mango slices with lime and salt. Men pushing wheelbarrows full of coconuts hack them open with machetes and stick a straw inside for you to sip. Everywhere you turn, vendors are hawking sweets, bracelets, maracas, fruit juices, ice cream, sunglasses, kitchen utensils and buckets full of freshly caught crabs, oysters and fish.
The rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and other 14 people who were kept hostages by FARC, is not only about their freedom, but the freedom of a whole country. During decades, Colombians have been victims of a Marxist guerrilla that was never clear about its purposes. What started as a fight for the equal rights of people, became a war against people. Later, the guerrillas became part of the ugly drug market, and their signature included death, kidnappings, and other forms of violence that made Colombia well known around the world, not exactly for the coffee.
Today, the Colombian army triumphed against the rebels; a group that shows every clear sign of disintegration, thanks to a government that has shown no mercy, and to the decay of the rebel leaders whose ideals weren’t ideal. The special forces have rescued an important political leader who became the symbol of the victims of kidnapping, and who gave Colombia the chance to be heard all around the world. To hear Ingrid Betancourt tell the story of how she was chained when night fell on the jungle makes you want to cry. At the same time, seeing her alive and well after all these years gives our country a new hope, and new dreams.
To the armed forces of Colombia, my respect. To the president of Colombia, my admiration. To Ingrid Betancourt and the rescued victims, my best wishes. To my country, ALL MY LOVE.
See Yahoo! News for complete coverage.
While congress it still waiting on making a decision in the TPA, the US Rice growers call for them to pass it. (Originally Posted by Delta Farm Press)
“This free trade agreement is one of the best bilateral trade deals negotiated for U.S. rice,” said Al Montna, USARF chairman and California rice producer on April 8. “We urge Congress to look at the merits of this agreement and to vote their approval.”
The U.S.-Colombia FTA establishes an initial tariff rate quota of 79,000 metric tons, milled basis, for U.S. rice, with Colombian imports of U.S. rice being duty free within the tariff rate quota. U.S. rice exports to Colombia averaged just less than 3,100 tons from 2003 to 2007. An out-of-quota duty of 80 percent is charged on imports above the tariff rate quota.
Some people are curious as to what is going on in Colombia right now with the strike the military conducted where they killed Luis Edgar Devia Silva, known as “Raul Reyes.”
Basically Colombian intelligence found the location of a terrorist that was the second in command in the group. They did an air strike from Colombian airspace into a rebel camp about a mile into Ecuador’s territory. The Colombian government did inform Ecuador of the operation, but I think left the details out.
Now Venezuela wants to get involved because the president from that country does not see the FARC as a terrorist group and has started a “diplomatic crisis.”
Bottom line is a leader of a terrorist organization is now dead and hopefully something positive can come out of that. Venezuela needs to mind their own business and let the Colombian president run his country. Ecuador needs to explain why it had such close ties with a terrorist organization before they start asking for explanations of any kind.
We need our voices to be heard. Let’s not be silent anymore, let the world hear us; let every guerrilla man or woman hear us: We repel FARC – EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army). We DON’T want more armed fight.
FARC have deceived the world once again by not freeing the thousands of kidnapped people they have kept captive for almost a decade now, recurring one more time to all kinds of tricks and evasive lies.
Kidnapping is the worst of acts against human dignity, and FARC have kidnapped and kept captive thousands of people over the last years, while they keep growing their drug production and drug traffic business, perpetrating all kinds of crimes and terrorist attacks against people, bringing poverty and misery to our country, which has suffered this plague and humanitarian tragedy for more than forty years now.
Colombia, Colombians, friends from all over the world, let’s unite to shout loudly:
NO MORE KIDNAPPING!
NO MORE LIES!
NO MORE MURDER!
NO MORE FARC!
Let’s commit ourselves to join a million voices in this group so we can make a difference, and let the entire world know that we don’t need that “People’s Army” here in Colombia; that FARC is a terrorist group, led by murderers and enemies of the Colombian and World’s People.
This is a cause beyond all political interests or colors. It’s a humanitarian cause, encouraged by a simple sense of solidarity, for the sake and welfare of our citizens.
Join us; we need our voices to be heard.
A million voices against FARC.
Discovery of new gold mine in Colombia can bring positive things to the area and put Colombia on the top 10 gold producers in the world. (Originally Posted on The Times.)
AngloGold Ashanti (ANG) is reportedly sitting on one of the world’s ten largest gold reserves after a massive discovery in Colombia.
Colombian daily El Tiempo last week reported that the deposit lies some 40 minutes from Ibague in the central province of Tolima and has the potential to double Colombia’s gold production by 2011.
While the Colombian government had been asked not to reveal the details of the project until February, Colombia’s president Alvaro Uribe let slip that the site would require an investment exceeding US$2 billion and would generate about 1,200 jobs.
To see the passion for Colombian soccer you need to only go as far as one of its most recognizable stars “El Pibe” Valderrama. He was ejected from a game when he flashed money to the referee taunting him after a bad call. While I do not agree with what he did, it does show the level of passion some people put into a game that was a qualifier to the finals in the tournament.
Last week Colombia’s national team beat Argentina 2-1 in a world cup qualifier match. This victory is injecting new energy to a nation that loves soccer and giving them hopes for the 2010 World Cup.
Even though Brazil is the country known around the world for being the powerhouse in South America, Colombia is also a country rich with talented players. They have participated several times in the World Cup, but some believe bad coaching and big star players not being hungry enough have caused the national team dearly.
South American soccer is based on a lot of dribbling and not as aerial as the Europeans used to be. However now Europe has changed the way it plays thanks to so many stars being imported from the Americas.
Colombia has players born in its beautiful country playing all over the world. Juan Pablo Angel plays for the NY Red Bulls, Iván Ramiro Córdoba plays for Inter in Milan and Mario Alberto Yepes plays in France for París Saint Germain just to name a few. Several stars have played in the MLS in the US and hopefully many more will.
Soccer its just waking up in the US, thanks mostly to the legendary US Women Team that helped promote the sport as a profitable venture, that and the late Lamar Hunt really building and supporting the league. Colombia like the rest of the world already loves soccer and will hopefully host a world cup in the years to come.
Some information taken from (Colombiamania.)
Directly from the US Government.
The United States and the Republic of Colombia have concluded an agreement to expand and liberalize our civil aviation relationship. Beginning on October 1, this agreement will expand opportunities for trade and people-to-people contacts between our two nations.
After roughly two years of consultations between officials of Colombia’s civil aviation agency, Aerocivil, and a U.S. interagency team chaired by State’s Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs that included officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Commerce, the countries agreed on the first increase of flights between the two countries since 2003.
Airlines may now provide unlimited scheduled passenger service to the Colombian cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla. In addition, this agreement will boost the number of scheduled weekly frequencies (round-trip flights) to other destinations, from 70 to 91, over the next year and expand charter opportunities between the two nations.
The Colombian artist, Fernando Botero, appears next to one of his 15 big format sculptures in Lustgarden, in front of the Berlin Cathedral.
(Photo from El Tiempo)