cannabisnews.com: Lott Denies Pastrana on Aid Plan 





Lott Denies Pastrana on Aid Plan 
Posted by FoM on April 12, 2000 at 20:03:53 PT
By Katherine Pfleger, Associated Press Writer
Source: AP International
Colombian President Andres Pastrana failed to persuade Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott on Wednesday to speed up passage of an aid package for his country's fight against drugs. After a morning meeting with Pastrana, Lott said he was eager to include the aid as part of the normal appropriations process, hopefully within the next three months, but not as emergency legislation. 
The House already has approved $1.7 billion to aid Colombia and other countries in the region in fighting illegal drugs. "In the legislative process and in government, you cannot give any absolutes," Lott said. "But I feel very strongly that it will be completed in May or early June." Lott said the legislation will call for awarding the aid as soon as President Clinton signs the bill. Pastrana is asking the United States and European countries to contribute $3.5 billion to a $7.5 billion plan to fight drug trafficking in Colombia. Clinton spoke with Pastrana by telephone from Air Force One for about 10 minutes while flying back to Washington from Denver, where he attended a gun-control rally. "The president wanted to talk with President Pastrana at the conclusion of his visit to Washington," Lockhart said. He said Clinton wanted an update on Pastrana's meetings with Congress and their joint effort to pass an aid package for Colombia. Lockhart said Pastrana characterized the visit as "constructive" and both Pastrana and Clinton were optimistic about the state of the aid package in coming weeks. The House supplemental spending bill included money for military equipment, training and other aid for Colombia's battle against drug producers and their rebel allies. It also included funds for U.S. military operations in Kosovo and for domestic hurricane relief. Lott objected to other funds added to the original bill in the House. Pastrana also was meeting with House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as well as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Speaking at a luncheon with the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Pastrana, a former member of the media, said Colombia is often misunderstood by foreign countries and the foreign press. "The choices and the crises are, in my view, often misreported and misunderstood," he said. "When you see your country's name continually misspelled, even in the most distinguished newspapers, you naturally worry about the rest of the reporting." Critics often have complained that the aid package would entangle the United States in a Colombian civil war. But Pastrana said Colombia is not in the midst of one. "A civil war occurs in a divided nation, torn apart into armed camps of more or less the same size," he said. "Even though billions of dollars generated by drug-trafficking sustain the violence, the guerillas cannot overthrow our democracy." He added that his country will not become another Vietnam, where American troops are dispatched to fight another country's war. "Neither your public opinion nor ours would support or permit such a move," Pastrana said. "And neither your government nor ours has considered this in even the most extreme circumstances." Pastrana was elected in 1998. After taking office, he met with Clinton to ask for assistance. The administration has requested 63 helicopters, training, intelligence assistance and other aid to the country's military and judicial system. "A Colombia at peace ... means not only less violence on our streets, but less drug-trafficking on yours," Pastrana said.  Washington (AP) Published: April 12, 2000Copyright  1995-2000 Excite Inc.Related Articles:Colombia to Use U.S. Drug Aid to Fight Guerrillashttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5372.shtmlFrom the Front Line, Tale of Failed Drug Warhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5369.shtmlCannabisNews Articles On Colombia Over 200 Items:http://google.com/search?num=10&q=cannabisnews+colombia+site:www.cannabisnews.com 
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Comment #2 posted by rainbow on April 13, 2000 at 08:26:59 PT
A contradiction or just irony?
Here is our president flying back from a gun control meeting which will make things safer for our children and at the same time talking with Pastrana about sending money (1.7B) to Columbia to kill somebodies children.We have too many kill and hurt people in our government and yes Lott is one of the most mean-spirited people I have ever encountered.CheersRainbow
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Comment #1 posted by legalizeit on April 12, 2000 at 23:54:56 PT
Impeach Lott
>"The choices and the crises are, in my view, often misreported and misunderstood," [Pastrana] said. "When you see your country's name continually misspelled, even in the most distinguished newspapers, you naturally worry about the rest of the reporting."When you hear endless blatant lies on manipulated, payola'd media, and statements such as "the most dangerous drug in America is a 12-year-old smoking marijuana", you naturally worry about the competency and honesty of anti-drug zealots.>He added that his country will not become another Vietnam, where American troops are dispatched to fight another country's war. "Neither your public opinion nor ours would support or permit such a move," Pastrana said. "And neither your government nor ours has considered this in even the most extreme circumstances."Ya, right. When drugs are the issue, all common sense disappears. >"A Colombia at peace ... means not only less violence on our streets, but less drug-trafficking on yours," Pastrana said.A world at peace from the drug war would feature similar benefits but with one difference - SUCCESS.
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