- Gerardo Lizard
- BBC News World
Following his election as President of Colombia, Gustavo Pedro issued a public message to Washington.
In his speech on Sunday night after winning the election, he said, “I think it is time to sit down and talk with the US government.
He immediately explained that he wanted to get an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions to be released by the United States and shared with other countries in the Colombian region through the “cotton” of the Amazon jungle.
“If it airs there and absorbs here, why shouldn’t we talk?“I propose that the US government and all US governments sit down and talk about speeding up the transition of energy,” Pedro said.
But the idea of ”decarbonizing” the economy is far from the only important issue between Colombia’s first elected left-wing president and Washington, with the country as its closest ally in Latin America.
Other such issues appear on the agenda Drug strategy Or Pedro’s intention to re-establish diplomatic relations with Venezuela could, according to experts, give a major twist to Bogota’s foreign policy.
The United States attaches special importance to its relations with Colombia.
This month, it was recognized when President Joe Biden elected his outgoing Colombian counterpart from all the leaders of the continent. Evan DukeSit next to him at the opening ceremony of the US Summit in Los Angeles.
There are many reasons behind that gesture.
Colombia is a recent Latin American country More US money Security and financial assistance: $ 2000 to $ 13 billion.
This assistance was largely provided by “Plan Colombia”, which was designed to combat drug trafficking and guerrilla movements in the South American country, and covered everything from military cooperation and training to intelligence support.
Pedro, an economist and former member of the nationalist M-19 guerrilla group, was mobilized in 1990 to receive a public message from the US Secretary of State after his election victory on Sunday.
“We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with President-elect Pedro Gustavo and building a more democratic and equal hemisphere,” the US diplomat tweeted. Anthony Blingen.
One day after the election, Pedro had a telephone conversation with Blingen, in which they discussed issues related to peace processes and climate change.
The State Department said Blinken reiterated “US support for the implementation of the 2016 peace agreements”, citing “democratic values shared by both countries.”
The strategic relationship between the two countries could be tested with the change of government of the Colombian government in August.
Pedro said he would like to declare the defeat of the “war on drugs” and reconsider the free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States.
And some researchers Predicting difficulties In a bilateral relationship, both governments have no choice in the matter.
In anti-drug policy, Pedro says, “he’s going to clash with the US government talking about changing some aspects, but it really continues with the same structures that existed in the 1980s.” Adam IsaacsonExpert in the Washington office of the United States of America (WOLA).
He says there could be “very strong diplomatic differences” if Pedro blocked US oil companies’ investments in Colombia in the search for clean energy.
Arlene DignerProfessor of International Relations at the Universidad del Rosario in Bogot sees coincidences between Pedro’s plan and Biden’s agenda for clean energy and the environment.
“Sensitivity is really the feeling of having lost a key ally and (America’s) ally in Latin America. It’s one of Washington’s concerns about neurological issues such as the defense program.” Digner tells BBC Mundo.
Although he describes a “dictatorial” government Nicholas Maduro In Venezuela, Colombia’s elected president wants to restore diplomacy between the two countries, which share a rough border of more than 2,200 kilometers.
Maduro severed diplomatic ties with Colombia in 2019 and stopped recognizing the Duke government as Venezuelan president, instead accusing him of being a “fascist” after recognizing the opposition leader. Juan Quito.
That strategy of international isolation of Maduro, which was promoted by the US under the government of former President Donald Trump, is still largely in place and may now lose key support in Colombia.
Maduro himself congratulated Pedro and the newly elected Vice President of Colombia. France MarquezFor his victory in Sunday’s vote.
“A new era awaits this fraternal country,” he tweeted.
Pedro, for his part, called for “a conversation in the United States” on Sunday.
This was seen by some as a feature of the regional controversy over Biden’s decision to treat Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua as dictatorships and exclude them from the US summit.
Digner says there are “many issues to look out for” between Colombia and Venezuela, and the return of diplomacy could contribute to this.
From the 1.8 million Venezuelan immigrants who fled to Colombia due to the economic and social crisis, there are challenges ranging from tensions on the border due to the actions of illegal armed groups and the military in both countries.
Pedro defined his diplomatic priority as putting Colombia at the forefront of the world in the fight against climate change.
He endorsed areas where other leftists like him came to power in a wave of discontent over the political class, social inequality and economic stagnation.
“I propose to Latin America to unite us more decisively,” he said in his successful speech on Sunday. “I propose to Colombia to see us as Latin Americans, and that’s what we are.”
Isaacson says that while easing Colombia’s “special relationship” with the United States, Petro could seek closer ties with other world powers, such as China or the European Union.
In his opinion, the relationship between Washington and Bogot will require mutual flexibility, and while Republicans in the US Congress are more skeptical of Pedro’s ideology, the Biden White House may focus more on his administration.
“If Pedro rules from the left, but from a democratic left, (…) I do not think there will be many problems with the United States,” he says. “But if it shows dictatorial populist traits, of course the US is going to say so, and there will be friction.”
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