The former U.S. assistant secretary of state says President Barack Obama is showing “a lack of respect” for Colombia, in an interview with newspaper El Tiempo.
“I do not understand the lack of respect from the administration of President Obama to Colombia. It is very rare. The other South American countries are watching how we treat our friends. But in my opinion, President Santos has managed these relationships appropriately,” said former assistant secretary of state Roger Noriega.
According to the official, drug trafficking and “authoritarian populism” are the two great challenges facing the Americas.
“Authoritarian populism…is a model aggressively promoted by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. We have to recognize that Chavez and the Chavez regime has an alliance with drug traffickers, Iran and terrorist groups. This combination is very, very dangerous, and he has to talk candidly about what is happening.”
The response Colombia should take, according to Noriega, is “recognize the international threat, and then maybe we could start building an international response, and if we can identify the criminality of this model, we could attract the attention of Washington, who in my opinion is not recognizing what is happening in the Americas. The lack of attention is very dangerous.”
Noriega was assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush.