Tue 23 Nov, 2004 07:33 pm
Bush showed off his Spanish in Cartagena on the north coast of Colombia yesterday spouting phrazes like "La moo hair day AP" and "La seen yohra day AP". Then he put on a little wrist band with the colors of the Colombian flag. Funny since those wrist bands have been hugely popular here ever since President Bill Clinton's daughter sported one during his visit to Cartagena.
In fact the visits were very different with Clinton walking through the old town section greeting the crowds while Bush wasn't seen by anyone except on television and by a few wealthy and heavily screened Colombians who attended the "news conference". Bush is popular with the wealthy upper class because he has helped President Uribe with his war against the FARC and terrorism but he is generally reviled by the rest of the Colombian populace. Clinton by contrast was "muy querido" by the Colombian "common man".
Friends in Cartagena told me the city resembled a ghost town during the visit.