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-- -- -- part of the world that we often don't pay enough attention to MS Latin American pretty your Columbia.
Joining us now is Eric Farnsworth and he's the vice president of the council.
Of the Americas and the American society thank you so much for joining us.
Thanks for having her debut -- I ask you about Columbia.
That was supposed to be the great success story we had beaten the drug cartels Columbia had an inspired.
Political leadership at all -- well and now it doesn't look like call as well we ever return of the bad old days let's go well at Columbia.
It is a reminder this recent attack on the government troops in the death a tragic death of several of them that in fact the -- the guerrillas are still a dangerous group.
But I think we have to look at this in the broadest scope of things Colombia has made dramatic progress in the last decade that's been a bipartisan success story for the United States in my view.
Violence is way down.
The drug cartels are certainly on the run it doesn't mean that they're not still active or that they're not still dangerous but they don't.
Fundamentally threaten the integrity of the Colombian state and they used to.
They don't anymore in that way -- it's a success story but this recent incidents clearly as a reminder that the situation remains fluid.
And that other still work to be done.
Do you think that violence returns to Columbia banned drug cartel violence and anger frustration with the park.
Not in the same way that it did I think the Farc has been dramatically weakened by -- Santos government.
Peace negotiations are underway and I think a lot of people including myself would see this recent attack -- Really away for the far to try to gain leverage in those peace discussions to say we're still relevant we still have a fighting capability we can still -- cause damage to the Colombian government.
But I don't see them coming back in any particular way the reason why it's because the Colombian people themselves have rejected that course this time.
They -- to move on they're looking more for economic growth now and four for development and so really this is a vestige of the past but but it's not finished.
It has a ways to go.
Eric -- -- as well as a country that we've had a rocky relationship works for the last.
Decade to say the least Adam -- our indications of the restaurant's really don't care about a better relationship.
With the United States is Venezuela -- getting involved in Columbia.
-- Venezuela's -- enveloped in Colombia for a while clearly there have been allegations of safe haven for the Farc guerrillas across the border in Venezuelan territory.
When president Chavez was still alive he spoke favorably of the -- And the fact this is why Venezuela has actually been participating in the peace discussions that are taking place in Havana because they are a player in the Colombian.
A process but in terms of bilateral relationship with the United States we still maintain a very strong.
Energy relationship primarily the US.
Purchases of Venezuelan oil into the United States.
But beyond that there isn't much of her relationship and as you accurately say Venezuela itself has indicated they don't really want to improve that relationship.
I think a lot of that stems from domestic realities the president of Venezuela Nicholas my door -- Came to -- be elected under some perhaps murky circumstances according to some people he's trying to solidify his base he's trying to solidify his power.
In Venezuela and the easiest way to do that both in Venezuela and traditional in Latin America is to try to pick a fight with the United States and focus in the -- And I see that is very much what he's trying to do in these current -- I think.
Eric what -- question the relationship between Hezbollah Iran Iran and bad guys in the Middle East and Venezuela.
Is there -- relationship and if so what kind.
Well there as a relationship between Venezuela and Iran.
And there are allegations of Hezbollah has been active in Venezuela primarily in terms of trying to raise funds.
That are then sent back to the Middle East to cause damage.
And and I think we have to watch those issues very carefully I think some of the more.
There are some allegations of a lot more operational activities of Hezbollah isn't it conducted in Venezuela I don't see evidence of that necessarily.
But there is.
A -- in -- in Venezuela to try to develop that relationship I think that's something the people have to watch very carefully.
OK well thank you very much Eric Farnsworth vice president.
-- account for the Americans thanks so much pleasure joining us.
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