On April 14-16, 2012, President Obama traveled to Cartagena Columbia to attend an Organization of American States (OAS) Summit to discuss the challenging problems in the Western Hemisphere. There are 35 countries that are member states in the organization, and their goal is to build prosperity and progress in the Western Hemisphere.

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose’ Miguel Insulza, who is the president of Columbia gave the opening speech of the summit. In his speech he stated: “in a framework of tolerance and dialogue we should partner together to achieve the prosperity that is today within our reach. The Americans are now nearing a billion inhabitants and they expect from their leaders, a clear message of unity, defeat poverty, discrimination and inequality, protect the human rights of all our citizens, and make possible the free and democratic society they demand,” said President Insulza.

There is a transition taking place in South America and many of the countries are developing their own worldview, and they are not afraid to challenge America. At this summit there was comprehensive discussion on the correct strategy on OAS’s drug policy. Many of the heads of state in the organization are saying that they are willing to look at the possibility that US drug policies are doing more harm than good in some parts of the world.

“I personally, and my administration’s position is that legalization is not the answer,” said President Obama. Many of the leaders believe that the reason there is so much violence in the drug market is because there is a major demand in the US. These countries believe that taking a different approach to regulate the drug traffic and market can become profitable for the country.

It is obvious in Colombia; the country is taking a different policy toward prostitution, because in Cartagena, Colombia it is legal. President Obama’s trip to the OAS summit has turned into an embarrassing scandal involving the US military and secret service. At no time was the president’s security compromised, but there are plenty of questions that need to be answered on what happened before the president got there.

The scandal reportedly involves 12 secret service agents and 11 military personnel who were working on security before the president arrived and decided to have a party. There are about 20 women being investigated with conflicting stories, and some saying that they were not expecting payment. But the night turned sour when Dania Suaraz created a scene claiming she had been promised $800, and none of the men would pay her.

This turned into a mess, and there appears no easy way to resolve the controversy. There are six agents who are either resigning or fired and every day the plot thickens, and the story gets more confusing. Everyone knows that prostitution is legal in Colombia and the secret service agents and the military members were there to party.

There are times when men will revert back to their college or high school days, and with 20 women available to party and alcohol flowing, everybody is ready to have a good time. There is no way this scandal will be swept under the rug and forgotten.

When individuals are given a responsibility with certain protocol and rules, they are expected to comply. If they are negligent in following the rules they should expect to be punished or fired. These agents and military personnel should get the book thrown at them, because the president’s security is an elite group of men who we expect the highest level of integrity and credibility.

There is no way that the president is pleased with this debacle and some of the managers and directors will be forced to raise their standards and evaluate their team members. Scandals and challenges many times make us better.

Advertisements