A New Cold War Brewing in Latin America?
After being the only country to back out of the South American Defense Council (CSD) during May's founding of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), Colombia has now agreed to join the fledgling initiative. President Uribe reconsidered after speaking with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Brazil's Lula during the latter's visit to Colombia. Lula was in Bogota over the weekend to sign Defense and other bilateral cooperation agreements between Colombia and Brazil.
Despite his country's reversal, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos today stated that he "still does not know what [the CSD] is for" during an event at the Center for American Progress (video). Santos is in Washington in an attempt to exploit the July 2 hostage operation and push Congress to pass the Colombian Free Trade Agreement and grant $Billions more for Plan Colombia, which is already the biggest military partnership in the Americas. (NYT Op-ed co-authored w/ US Defense Secretary Gates).