No Mas Uribe or No More Uribe! Clearly emblazoned on the makeshift walls thrown up about the new construction on the Carrera 7 in Rosales. Love him or loathe him, former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez will remain a divisive figure in the nation’s political landscape for some time to come. His forward and warrior-like style of governance will always be subject for dispute, but Colombia has been put on the right path. We can debate until blue in the face about links to traffickers, paramilitary groups and so on. What remains to be seen and discussed is the more theoretical nature of President Uribe’s tenure.
In “Cutting Losses: Reflections On Appropriate Timing, Christopher R Mitchell suggest there may exist a “ripeness” for the resolution of a conflict. Personally, I feel that here in Colombia that time has arrived. Of course, the equation that was the Uribe administration has provided for this level of “maturity” in the conflict. This is not say I do not harbour serious doubts about the former president’s actions, policies and politics…there were terrible decisions and actions taken. But, it is perhaps due to some of these that we are able to suppose that perhaps the FARC guerrilla wish to end their warring at the negotiating table.
Colombia is tired, she has reached a level of exhaustion due to so much violence that this conflict must come to an end soon. This conflict resolution must not be at any cost, the negotiating team of President Juan Manuel Santos must not be cowed into a makeshift and ill-fitting agreement.
It is unfortunate that Alvaro Uribe’s immediate and domestic legacy is one of a spoiler and poison pen twitter author. He is welcome to an opinion, and clearly his stance is not a surprise, but his insistence on and success in publishing violent rhetoric is becoming quite tiresome. This anger and unrelenting vitriol has made Uribe a figure for parody. For Colombians, his reputation is tarnished, for the international press, Uribe will remain “bookish”, presumably because he wears glasses.
Uribe helped win Colombia's second war of independence. He may not be the one to govern Colombia's peace. The point that Colombians are tired of conflict maybe so, but it fades with the coming of a new generation. This generation none the wiser, seem more than content to scribble such rhetoric upon walls without the full knowledge of what horrors the alternative would bring. There seems a whole new youth willing to do it all over again. And even worse, a whole wave of ideological (and better off) Europeans and North American's willing to put Colombia through it again. The only thing I would agree with Karl Marx on would be that, history repeats itself. It's only too unfortunate that the FARC are entering into history themselves. For this, if there is an individual we should thank, it would be Uribe.
Absolutely and completely correct on every level Stuart. He was an excellent conflict president and put the country on the right course.