- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

Defending Otto Reich
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has urged the Senate to approve the nomination of Otto Reich, ending a liberal campaign to block his appointment to a major Latin American policy post.
Some Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee oppose his appointment because they are still angry over his support of anti-Marxist rebels in Nicaragua in the 1980s and his continued backing of a U.S. embargo on Cuba.
His nomination to be assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs has lingered for months before the Democrat-controlled committee, which has failed even to hold a confirmation hearing.
"President Bush stands behind Otto Reich. I stand behind Otto Reich," Mr. Powell told the committee last week. "Unfortunately, we have not been able to get a hearing before this committee."
Mr. Powell said he recommended that President Bush name Mr. Reich to the position after reviewing all of the charges against him, including accusations that he misused his position to spread domestic propaganda when he served in the State Department's Office of Public Diplomacy from 1983 to 1986.
"I note that he has never been charged with anything [despite] lots of speculation and rumors, and I was quite confident that Otto Reich would do a superb job," Mr. Powell said.

Colombian terrorism
The U.S. war on terrorism could soon reach out to Colombia, as Washington seeks the extradition of left- and right-wing militants accused of money laundering and drug trafficking.
U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson last week said at a conference on money laundering that the United States is focusing on three groups the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, the National Liberation Army and the right-wing Self-Defense Units of Colombia.
"The United States wants to try members of the three groups that are involved in drug trafficking and money laundering and will seek their extradition," she said.
Mrs. Patterson said all three groups are targets of the U.S. war on terrorism. She said the three are "deeply involved in drug trafficking."

Aid to Jamaica
The United States will provide Jamaica with $2 million in equipment and aid to help combat drug trafficking under an agreement signed last week by U.S. Ambassador Sue Cobb and Jamaican National Security Minister K.D. Knight.
The equipment will include speedboats to patrol the coasts and luggage-scanning equipment for Jamaica's two international airports.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors to Washington this week include:
South African Foreign Minister Dlamini Zuma, who will attend an annual African ministerial meeting under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. She will hold a news conference tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at the South African Embassy.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Nathan Sharansky, who will participate in a forum on terrorism at the American Enterprise Institute. He will also meet administration officials and members of Congress.
Sergio Amaral, Brazil's minister of development, industry and trade, who will attend a meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Brazil-U.S. Business Council.
Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, who will meet Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and congressional leaders on a three-day visit. He will deliver a major speech tomorrow at Johns Hopkins University.
David Willetts, a Conservative member of the British Parliament, who will address the Heritage Foundation.
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, who will meet President Bush on Thursday. He will also meet congressional leaders.
Costa Rican first lady Lorena Clare de Rodriguez, who will meet first lady Laura Bush, and will receive the humanitarian service award from Goodwill Industries for her work with handicapped children.
Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who will meet President Bush at the White House.

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