Thursday, March 26, 2009

Me likes Hillary

When I lived in the US linked to Academia, I cannot tell you how many times I got upset by people saying things that they should have known much better than saying. What was one of my biggest pet peeves was a line like "these nasty Colombians, why do they send us so much drug?". I must have defended Colombia dozens of times, on occasion as the perpetrator of the inanity passed a joint around. And in Academic party time, which made the whole thing inexcusable on account of ignorance. Well, one would think of, no?

Thus when I read these words from Secretary Hillary Clinton on her arrival in Mexico I could not but be elated:

“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade”
“Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.”

Some of you might remember I was a Hillary supporter at first (well, I hinted at it, this is not a US themed blog). Well, that was a reason why. I liked her school marm attitude on some things and her ability to say such truisms, to address some white elephants in US society. OK, she also speaks too much on other things and she might not be too scrupulous on her personal dealings, but she is a politician for crissake!

She certainly is not saying such things without Obama's consent, I am sure. But it is quite gratifying for me to see that this new administration is at least getting a few things right (at least of those things that do matter to me and the future of Latin America).

Is it not ironic that we had to wait for a team accused of commie tendencies to finally acknowledge that drug trade is as extreme a capitalist venture as they come? That drug trade is fueled like nothing else by the laws of supply and demand? The US can do all the reeducation and detox programs, all the drug enforcement agencies it want, bombing all the poppy fields in the world, as long as it does not start punishing more effectively the consumer of drugs these measures will not work. Period.

Meanwhile in Venezuela just this week we learn that 325 kilos of cocaine have been caught in Margarita island. Imagine that, the supply of that poor island for years probably! And even though Venezuela is at best a reluctant collaborator in fighting drug trafficking it has the chutzpah to vaunt its prowess.... There was a time when the only contraband was booze, and then it was made legal. Now apparently Chavez limitations on booze traffic in Margarita have been replaced by drug traffic. Progress! Well, for someone's wallet anyway.

-The end-

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