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Uribe Defends Private Sector

Colombia's president warns investors against Communist countries that won't respect their rights.

BY JOACHIM BAMRUD

CARTAGENA -- Colombian president Alvaro Uribe made a strong defense today for the private sector and denounced what he called "plebiscite communism."

"Without private initiative, there is no prosperity," he told the World Economic Forum Latin America in Cartagena today.

He warned foreign investors against trusting countries he called "plebiscite Communists."

"In sectors of world capitalism, in the private sector, in governments and companies, we`re seeing permisiveness with the new plebiscite communisms," he said, "Many countries and many companies simply want to be  ...permisive with these governments, in the wrongful belief that these governments will respect their rights."

He did not name the countries, but his description fits with countries like Bolivia and Venezuela, which hold frequent plebiscites while increasing state control over their economies and limiting basic political freedoms.

In contrast, Colombia has offered investor protections, while improving security, Uribe pointed out. “Security is a democratic value,” he told more than 500 business, government and civil society leaders from 42 countries. “It is one of the foundations without which investment cannot come."

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