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British Free Trade in Colombia:
Grow Dope, Not Food

April 9, 2008 (EIRNS)—The dope in the White House, George Bush, sent a proposed Free Trade Accord (FTA) with Colombia to the U.S. Congress on April 7, for "fast track" approval within 90 days, in the name of defending U.S. "national security."

Only a dope could call expanding the drug trade a defense of US national security. Eliminating protective tariffs will wipe out Colombia's remaining farmers, turning them over to the drug mafia—which already calls the shots, by and large, in Colombia's economy.

Colombia is potentially an agro giant, but for 40 years, land under cultivation has never surpassed 4 of its 20 million hectares of cultivatable land, not counting land which irrigation projects could open up for cultivation. Under the 1990-1994 drug-mob controlled government of Cesar Gaviria, a million hectares were taken out of agricultural production, as Gaviria's takedown of protective tariffs made growing coca and poppies the only profitable "farming" possible. Land used for food fell to 3 million hectares, from which it never recovered.

Now, with even that remaining land being converted into plantations—plantations, like the former cotton plantations in the U.S. south, slaves and all—of African palm and sugar cane to produce for biofuels, Colombia has less than 3 million hectares of lands being used to cultivate food.