No menu items!

By dint of millions of dollars, Biden refuses to lose Colombia as an ally

With the US$440 million foreseen in its budget for Colombia, the Biden administration seeks to maintain its influence in the South American country as “a gateway to the continent in an easy way,” Colombian political scientist Felipe Mendoza told Sputnik.

On March 9, US President Joe Biden presented his administration’s budget proposal for 2023-2024, including a total of US$444 million for actions in Colombia.

The figure, earmarked for military-technical cooperation operations, represents a reduction of US$18 million in the 2022-2023 budget, although it continues to give Colombia a prominent place in the allocation of resources requested to Congress by the White House.

Colombia, By dint of millions of dollars, Biden refuses to lose Colombia as an ally
Colombia is the second recipient of US economic-military cooperation, second only to Israel (Photo internet reproduction)

Along with the amount earmarked for Colombia, the Biden Administration included in the budget resources US$1.43 billion for Central America and Haiti to reduce migration from that region to the US and combat its structural economic causes.

In a conversation with Sputnik, Colombian political scientist, and analyst Felipe Mendoza argued that the economic-military cooperation that the US maintains with Colombia, at least since the creation of Plan Colombia in 1999, is framed in a principle of unilateralism on the part of the US.

For the analyst, the US decides on its own the application of programs in Colombia when the South American country is more focused on “certain points of the national scene,” such as implementing and strengthening the peace agreements.

In any case, and although the budget is smaller than before, the reservation of more than US$400 million for Colombia shows that between Washington and Bogota, “a joint agenda is maintained beyond political and partisan interest”.

“Relations between the two may not currently be in such agreement, but there is a permanent two-way relationship, which has generated this type of support,” warned the expert.

Colombia continues to be the second recipient of US economic-military cooperation globally, second only to Israel. For Mendoza, the fact has long ceased to be surprising.

“I am not surprised because the strategic alliance in military matters between the US and Colombia dates back to the 1940s.”

“I am not surprised by the value and that the US presence is maintained because Colombia represents a fairly large initial quota in US interests in Latin America and today, even more so when the progressive wave begins to gain strength with a progressive government for the first time in the history of Colombia”, the analyst emphasized.

In that sense, Mendoza remarked that “there are things beyond the political process that Biden needs to take care of and safeguard” and warned that among those points is “the unilateral agenda of the US in Colombia”.

In the expert’s eyes, this agenda is key to Washington’s plan to “maintain and increase its dependence on the US and not to lose ground to China”.

Despite the investment in joint operations of its armed forces, Mendoza affirmed that, in the case of Colombia, “the US presence has been migrating from military to commercial, to transversal support” in an international geopolitical relationship that aims “not to lose footing in the face of Chinese investments”.

“I think they need to have a territorial presence that allows them to enter the continent easily, with an ally they have historically had in the region”, he warned.

With information from Sputnik

Check out our other content