Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama win is good for Colombia

Approaching Barichara, you can see one of the cordillas of the Andes stretching out ahead under the clouds.
I am not taking sides when I say that Obama's win is good for Colombia, but the last four years of working to strengthen the ties between the two countries will benefit from a continuation of the existing policy. While I do not want Colombia to become 'Americanized' in any way, inevitably that is going to occur with people all over the country watching the TODAY show, learning English, and having more tourists coming from the U.S.

Clearly my blog has been read by a huge number of Americans, possibly those looking for a nice retirement option. And Colombia is supportive of retirees (although you have to prove you can support yourself to get a visa) and welcomes Americans as visitors. Santos has been working hard to bring the FARC to the peace table and since Obama supports this, there are plenty of hopeful signs that an end to the conflict could occur. This would only benefit Colombia as a tourist destination country because it has so very much to offer.

Cathedral in Barichara - early morning shot
Although the U.S. State Department does issue travel advisories about Colombia, anyone visiting here and taking reasonable precautions for their personal safety should not be any more concerned about touring here than touring in the U.S. Don't bother wearing your expensive jewelry in any of the large cities. (If you are going someplace where you want to show it off, carry it in a pocket or something until you reach the inside of your destination, then you can put it on and remove it when leaving. That's what Bogotonians do.) Probably that's good advice in the U.S these days as well.

Anyhow, all you folks reading this, come on over and see Colombia for yourselves... the El Dorado airport in Bogota is being upgraded, you don't need a visa for a two-month visit, and it's well worth the trip!
NOTE: One village in northern Colombia is totally pro-Obama... read this!

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