South American leaders met a special UNASUR summit in Buenos Aires at the end of August to discuss Colombian President Alvaro Uribe‘s proposal for permanent US military bases on his teritory, after Uribe refused to attend the UNASUR sumit in Quito earlier in the month. The Argentina summit failed to produce an explicit declaration rejecting the US bases, only stating broadly that “the presence of foreign military forces cannot threaten the soveriegnty of any South American country.” (PTS, Argentina, Sept 3) The regional group also extended an invitation to Washington to attend the next summit and put forth its case on the issue. US amabassador to Colombia William Brownfield said the US will accept the invitation. (Colombia Reports, Sept. 2)
Uribe, meanwhile, cleared the last legislative hurdle to running for a third term, as the Colombian Chamber of Deputies voted 85 to 5 to approve referendum early next year that would allow Uribe to be on the May presidential ballot. The Senate approved the measure in May. (LA Times, Sept. 3, which incorrectly states that the Senate approved the measure “last month”)
See our last post on Colombia.