No one expects the Democrats to set the world ablaze with a radical agenda, but it does make a difference that they won the mid-term elections. Within days, we have an example of why.
President Uribe of Colombia, a man who paramilitaries referred to as “our candidate”, is desperately lobbying in Washington. The reason is to protect the Free Trade Treaty that Colombia and the US have signed, but which hasn’t yet been ratified.
The treaty is unpopular among the country’s many poor citizens despite a massive government propaganda effort, with TV programmes about how great the it would be, and the works.
The reason is that it would open up even further Colombia’s massive agricultural and mineral resources so that big business can make even more money out of the deeply divided country. This is already under way and has caused the country to lose its self sufficiency in food due to exports of environmentally destructive plants such as oil palm.
Reports now say that some Democrats are now threatening to vote against ratification, which is why Uribe has made the dash.
The treaty may pass, but it’s worth remembering that this would never have been a question under the Republicans.