Bush didn't mention unionists' murders once on SOTU! He did draw that funny conclusion: "If we fail to pass this agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere." Well, it's nice to know that he believes there can be such a thing as true populism. I wonder what he could be thinking about?
As we've shown time and time again, if avoiding populism is the goal, it's best to not pass trade deals that limit development policy space. Zapatista uprising - born with NAFTA. Chavez's rise to power - born with IMF structural adjustment policies. The same is true country-by-country, across the hemisphere. If take everything away from people but their chains, they're going to have less to lose in rising up against you.
Sadly, it's not only Republicans that buy this Bush line. Democrat Greg Meeks (D-N.Y.), one of the CAFTA 15, also buys much of the same line, and is trying to get more Democratic support. Judge for yourself in this speech in Colombia whether he is up for it. In Meeks' endorsement of Uribe for the U.S. presidency, he presents us all with a major moral quandary: do we want Bush, or Uribe? It makes my head hurt something awful, like I'm reading some sort of poisonous zen koan.
Lotta nice fluff. Also no mention of union murders! If you want to get the other side of the story to the Colombia FTA - the side that does talk about the rampant murders there - please take a moment and watch this video on the Afro-Colombian struggle there, and also this video "letter" by Chicago activists to Sens. Dick Durbin and Barack Obama.