MIAMI, United States. – I read in an investigation on Colombia that poverty and lack of opportunities increase Petro’s chances among young people. Colombians must be told that there is no possible redemption along the path chosen by Petro, except to emigrate, as six million Venezuelans, two million Cubans and one million Nicaraguans have done.
There is no more sensitive issue in Latin America than Colombia. It is the only large nation in South America that has access to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It has a population, more or less similar, in numbers, to the Spanish: Colombia 52 million, Spain 48. But it doubles the Spanish territory: Colombia, one million 100,000 square kilometers, including the paradisiacal islands of the San Andrés archipelago; Spain, half a million, without excluding the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, linked by geography (and not by history) to the Moroccan kingdom.
Colombia is a country of medium development with all climates and all environments. It has dozens of universities, but only two are included in the reports of the three rankings most prestigious of those that exist: the Universidad de los Andes and the Universidad Nacional. The rest graduate highly competent professionals, but do little research. Colombia produces some 60,000 objects that the country regularly consumes. From toothpicks and deodorants, to very complex vaccines, achieved by the immunologist Manuel Elkin Patarrollo, such as the ones he has developed against the variants of COVID-19 and his already old (and controversial) vaccine against malaria.
Will the left expand, as the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua dream of? Even the governments of Mexico (AMLO) and Argentina (Cristina Fernández, the vice president, who rules there because she has the votes). I do not think so. The left must settle for Chile, where it reigns Gabriel Boric. But I don’t think so of the country that elected Uribe.
At that time it was thought that Santos was going to be a kind of Uribe 2.0, but the answering maid came out, and then Uribe came back with Iván Duque. I do not believe – I insist – that the majority would select Petro. The question he asks New York Times (“Is Colombia ready to elect a leftist ruler?”) You will have a strong response. It will be someone from the center right like Fico Gutiérrez, Sergio Fajardo or Rodolfo Hernández, as long as they don’t kill each other.
We will have to wait for ballot, to the “second round”, to finally decide who will be the winner. I bet on Fico. He was very good in the debates. It was brilliant. Not going to that exercise is a serious sin. It does not mean that the fact that a candidate has not participated in the debates will not know how to govern, but it is evident that there is a major limitation in not being able to verbalize the government plans and the attack on the other options.
That perhaps means that you have not thought enough of others. People who cannot anticipate problems have a tremendous lack of imagination, and imagination is necessary to govern well.. The Romans believed that the ability to express oneself well was synonymous with talent. At least that was the position of Quintiliano, the great pedagogue of Rome, teacher of Rhetoric, born in the first century of our era. Today we know that this is not necessarily the case, but there is a link between the two traits.
What is it to govern well in today’s Colombia? Definitely abide by the law. If the Constitution is sworn in, it is because it is intended to comply. That is essential. In addition, it is necessary to charge few taxes, attract large investments and be very careful with public spending. Open economies, and Colombia is, do not leave much room for planning. That is why it is important that at the head of the State and the Government there is not a “planner”, but a person who is capable of seeing the positive things that are offered and assumes them. It is the moment of imagination and turning everything into opportunities.
It is even an opportunity to reduce the immense corruption that exists in Colombia at all levels of government. How is corruption combated? Without a doubt, with the criminal code in hand. Corrupt people must be put in jail, but preventing acts of government from becoming a vendetta. Perhaps recovering some of the ill-gotten money will be enough. In other words, the winner of the “second round” must think about the future and not dedicate himself like an obsessive person to saving the past, which we already know is insurmountable.
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