Colombia has a history of pandering to the interests of the United States government in just about every sense. Recently, Colombia sought to further entrench its status as an American puppet regime in Latin America in joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and its current president-elect, Ivan Duque, is proudly promoting solidarity with Israel at a time when Israel is facing condemnation by most of the civilized world for its brutality against Palestinians in Gaza, best represented by a recent resolution by the United Nations General Assembly as well as the pretext submitted by US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, for quitting the UN Human Rights Council which further echoes the international sentiment relative thereto, which is no doubt a further expression of Colombia’s intention to further promote and participate in America’s foreign policy, even proposing transferring Colombia’s diplomatic seat to Jerusalem following Trump’s decision to do so with America’s embassy to Israel.
Meanwhile, the United States has viewed Venezuela as a thorn in the side of its foreign policy in the region, both politically and economically as the Latin American nation has opted to nationalize its oil sector. For this reason, the US has orchestrated numerous attempts at color revolution and assassinations against its leadership, enacted a slew of sanctions against it, and continues to entertain further measures to contain the nation both politically and economically.
Politically, Washington refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of Venezuela’s government and has resorted to meddling in its democratic processes and, therefore, despite international observers of the election, numbering well over a hundred, together with media coverage showing the elections process, America refuses to concede its loss at the polls, and contends that the elections were illegitimate. In Venezuela, the recent presidential elections were a representation of a battle of the wills between Washington and the people of Venezuela, with Maduro representing the interests of Venezuela against opponents who were pushing for dollarization, and other acts aimed at abiding by Washington’s interests, winning some 68% support at the ballot box.
Duque, on the other hand, who has just won a narrow victory in Colombia, in an election which had similar ramifications, in aspects, received only some 54% support at the ballot box, but he takes it upon himself to question the legitimacy of the government of Venezuela, no doubt taking that cue from Washington, which he apparently intends to placate in every way and at all costs.
The Venezuelan independent news outlet Venezuelanalysis.com reports:
Merida, June 21, 2018 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Colombian President-elect Ivan Duque has vowed to not send an ambassador to Caracas upon assuming the presidency, claiming not to recognise the Venezuelan government in heated statements less than two weeks after his electoral victory.
“We can’t accept having links with a government which we consider to be illegitimate,” declared the winner of the June 17 election. Duque obtained 54 percent of the vote amid a 53 percent participation.
The president-elect, who will take power on August 7, also characterized Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as a “dictator,” alleging the existence of government-sponsored “drug trafficking structures.”
Similarly, Duque criticised Venezuela’s recent May 20 elections, which he considers to have been “openly manipulated.”
Venezuela’s May 20 presidential elections were declared free and fair by numerous international accompaniment missions who observed the process in the Caribbean nation.
By contrast, Colombia’s recent balloting has drawn significant criticism, with Colombia’s Immediate Reception for the Electoral Transparency Unit (URIEL) registering 1,239 complaints on the day of voting, 51 percent of which referred to “pressure and threats” to voters.
Duque is considered a hard-line politician of the right wing Democratic Centre center who is extremely close to party head and ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, both in his rejection to the Colombian peace process and in the aggressive tone taken in relation to Caracas.
However, unlike Uribe, who stated days after his presidency was over that an invasion to Venezuela had been on the table, Duque has calmed concerns over a possible military encounter between NATO member Colombia and Venezuela, saying that he will not “assume a warlike attitude towards Venezuela.”
Nonetheless, the new Colombian president has threatened to denounce his Venezuelan counterpart at the UN Security Council. Duque has also promised to withdraw from regional body UNASUR for its “complicity” with Venezuela.
The tense relations between Colombia and Venezuela since 1999 have not stopped the abundant, migration between the two populations. It is estimated that more than five million Colombians entered Venezuela fleeing the civil war and government persecution. Likewise, recent data suggests that more than one million Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia in the past two years.
Duque even uses threats and political denouncements after the fashion of America’s current president, threatening to withdraw from the South American bloc UNASUR and to denounce Venezuela at the UNSC, moves which would only serve as polarizing measures intended to demonstrate Colombia’s commitment to Washington while isolating himself from constructive diplomatic relations with both his neighbors and the world. Presently, Washington is cutting itself off from the rest of the world, so that it has a shrinking influence and is fast losing the weight which it likes to throw about, meaning that Colombia is choosing a side that appears to be on its way down.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.