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Columbia - Emerald of South America

            Historically, Colombia has been overshadowed in global diplomacy and economics. Its main claims to fame come from its national hero Simon Bolivar and being beaten by the United States when Colombia refused to allow the United States to take control of Panama and build the Panama Canal. Regional economic powers like Brazil and Argentina eclipsed Colombia. Other nations like Peru and Venezuela upstaged it on the global stage. However this is no longer the case. Brazil and Argentina have struggled in the new millennium while Peru's economy has stagnated. Venezuela without its talismanic firebrand, Hugo Chavez, has quickly fallen out of the global picture. Venezuela through political moderation and fiscal conservatism has deftly navigated its way to economic triumph in South America.
             It would be remiss not to mention that Venezuela's has been lucky both economically and politically. It capitalized on burgeoning oil prices and new markets during the 2000's, while avoiding the political controversy that has affected other South American nations like its neighbor Venezuela. It also weathered the 2008 global financial collapse with surprising aplomb. Colombia also took leadership of the Andean League from Peru during this time period as well. Compared to other South American countries, Colombia's economy is relatively diverse although its main income comes from its main exports: oil and coffee (Colombia- Economy). As the new herald of South American economic prosperity, Colombia looks to forge ahead and build its economy and maintain its position as the economic leader of the Southern Hemisphere. Unless a major economic meltdown occurs in the near future, Colombia's economy will most likely thrive because of political factors, greater economic opportunities, and its solid agricultural base.
             For half a century Colombia's rural areas have been under siege. Colombia's countryside was dominated politically, economically and socially by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia or the FARC.

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