El Universal (Caracas) | 18 September 2007
Negroponte fears that Chávez would win if FTA fails at US Congress
US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte warned Tuesday that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez would win and Latin American democracies would lose if the US Congress does not pass the Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Panama and "especially with Colombia."
"Failure to approve the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Peru, Panama, and especially with Colombia, will make Chávez win and would be a defeat for democratic forces in the region," said the diplomatic during a speech delivered at the annual meeting of the Association of US Chambers of Commerce, AFP quoted.
Negroponte tried mostly to prove the Congress — controlled by Democrats, who are more protectionist than Republicans — the importance of endorsing the treaty with Colombia, by underscoring that Colombian President Álvaro Uribe was "part of the solution instead of the problem."