Beyond War and Revolution: Dramatic Developments in the Andean Region
Colombia is making ambitious plans for implementing a historic peace agreement to end a 50-year conflict with leftist guerrillas. Ensuring the guerrillas end their lucrative drug trafficking and creating economic opportunity in post-conflict zones are crucial to success. The economic chaos, political unrest, and potential refugee crisis brewing in neighboring Venezuela can be minimized by advocating an orderly transition of power. The same energy and creative leadership required to support complex transitions in Colombia and Venezuela can simultaneously help reinvigorate the Andean integration process and propel the region into a higher economic orbit. The United States should continue to provide substantial material support to Colombia, but leveraging investment and private-sector development is more important than foreign aid.