Bill Clinton Refused Colombian President a Visa over Drug Money

Bill Clinton revealed that former Colombian President Ernesto Samper did not cooperate with the United States in fighting drug trafficking. (Todelar)

EspañolIn 1996, then US President Bill Clinton barred his Colombian counterpart, Ernesto Samper, from entering the country. It was never entirely clear why Clinton yanked the Colombian president’s visa.

Now Clinton himself has confirmed the version. Univisión reports that a new book features an interview where Clinton assured that he decided to sanction Samper due to “drug-trafficking money which had entered his campaign.”

According to the former US president, Samper received drug money during his presidential campaign in 1993 and 1994. He argued that the Colombian government was not cooperating with the United States in the fight against drugs, which made him “ineligible to obtain a tourist visa.”

Our message was clear and simple. People who knowingly collaborated with drug dealers were not welcome in the United States. We had not seen, in President Samper’s administration, any kind of fundamental or strong commitment to fight drug-trafficking in his country, much less to confront or curb somehow the influx of drug traffickers into his own cabinet and into his own administration beyond the cabinet. In early 1993, high officials warned him about the influence of traffickers with his administration and with people close to him. In our opinion, he ignored those warnings. So we decided to send him a strong and clear message.

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Translated by Daniel Duarte.

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