by Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-North Carolina), March 14, 2000
AID PACKAGE (House of Representatives - March 14, 2000)
(Mr. BALLENGER asked and was
given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Speaker,
soon the House is expected to consider the supplemental appropriations
bill which contains the Colombia aid package. While this package is far
from perfect, it is essential that we pass it now. Failure to do so would
send a signal to the drug cartels in Colombia that this Congress is not
serious about helping Colombia fight the war on drugs.
In fact, delaying the passage
of this bill any further has and will lead to increased violence in Colombia
. On March 8, just last week, for example, 100 guerillas from the drug
cartel-backed FARC attacked a village 250 miles south of Bogota and released
92 of their compatriots who were imprisoned there. No doubt further delays
will lead to more and even more bolder attacks.
This recent attack should
present us with the more clear evidence that any further delay in passing
a comprehensive aid package to Colombia will result in more violence,
more attacks, and could threaten the very existence of the Colombian government.
Mr. Speaker, if we fail to
act now, we will leave our friends in Colombia vulnerable to the narcoterrorists
who will freely build their power and wealth upon the broken lives of
our children. I urge support for the supplemental.
As of March 16, 2000, this
document is also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H14MR0-61: