Colombian Presidential Election Puts Nation on the Brink of Embracing Socialism

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CARACAS, Venezuela — Colombian citizens will go to the polls on Sunday, May 29, to choose who will be their country’s president for the next four years.

Eight candidates will face off in this upcoming election, where polls now support socialist and former guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro.

Among all the candidates and political parties participating, the three main coalitions competing for the presidency are:Colombiacoalition of centre-right and right-wing parties (Team Colombia) supporting Federico Gutiérrez; “Pacto Historico por Colombiathe coalition of left parties (Historical Pact for Colombia) supporting Gustavo Petro; and Centro Esperanza (Hope Center) coalition of centrist and centre-left parties supporting Sergio Fajardo.

Presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez speaks in Bogota, Colombia on Monday, March 28, 2022, ahead of the May 29 elections. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Among other candidates and coalitions “Liga de Gobernantes Anti-Corruption” (Anti-Corruption Executives Association), John Milton Rodriguez, “Colombia Justa Libres” (Justice and Free Colombia) coalition, Enrique Gómez Martínez “Salvacion National” (National Liberation), Luis Pérez, “Colombia Piensa en Grande” (Colombia Thinks Big) and Ingrid Betancourt Partido Verde Oxigeno (Oxygen Green Party).

Colombia’s constitution states that a candidate must receive at least 50 percent plus one of the votes to win the election. If no candidate gets this threshold on election day, a runoff election will be held between the two candidates with the most votes on Sunday, June 19th.

According to recent polls, Leftist candidate Gustavo Petro is currently leader With 43 percent of the votes cast, the conservative candidate Federico Gutiérrez took second place with 27.7 percent. A runoff between these two is almost confirmed, as neither candidate is expected to get more than 50 percent in the first round.

Conservative candidate Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez was mayor of the city of Medellín from 2016-2019. reached approval rates of up to 96 percent. Medellin is a historically troubled city that was once home to Pablo Escobar’s cartel. Renaissance It is tied to conservative leadership and a high pop-culture profile in Latin America.

Presidential hopeful Federico Gutierrez, center, touches a Colombian flag as he celebrates after his coalition won the primary elections during the legislative elections in Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday, March 13, 2022.  Colombians voted for a new congress on Sunday and also voted in the presidential primaries to select party candidates for the May presidential contest as the country held its first elections since the coronavirus pandemic began two years ago.  (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

Presidential hopeful Federico Gutierrez touches the Colombian flag as he celebrates after his coalition wins the primary elections during the legislative elections in Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

Gutiérrez’s candidacy garnered the support of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez (2002-2010), after Uribe’s party candidate, Óscar Iván Zuluaga. Centro Democratico (Democratic Centre), withdrawn He submitted his candidacy following the results of the March 2022 parliamentary elections in Colombia.

Uribe Vélez is widely considered an influential right-wing politician in Colombia and a kingpin for the presidency of both Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2018) and Iván Duque (2018-2022). Colombia in 2015 approved A term limit for presidents made Duque, who was also part of the Democratic Center, unable to seek re-election. Santos served in the Uribe administration, but made dramatic political departures from the Democratic Center as president, including negotiations with communist terrorists.

Leftist candidate Gustavo Petro is a former M-19 guerrilla fighter and former mayor of Colombia’s capital, Bogota. Petro is running for president for the third time. Petro competed in the previous 2018 presidential election and lost to Duque.

If elected, Petro will become Colombia’s first left-wing president – a case never before seen in Latin America. never was led by a left-wing president.

Petro has had his fair share in the past, stating that he would vote for Joe Biden “without any doubt”. blame A Colombian news channel about being “neo-nazis” and making political speeches while visibly drunk.

Petro does not hesitate to express his support for the Cuban communist regime and Venezuela’s “Supreme and Eternal Commander of the Revolution” Hugo Chávez.

“Social dialogue is imposed in Cuba, as in Colombia. Living societies are societies that act from their dialogue and realize transformations, not from self-destruction.”

“You lived in Chávez’s time and maybe you thought he was a clown. You fooled yourself. You lived the times of a great Latin American leader,” read a tweet by Petro, shared the day Chavez died.

Like most left-wing politicians around the world, Petro sought to distance himself from the socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and the perceived radioactivity that the catastrophes of his socialist regime in Venezuela had created on leftist political movements that were once friendly to the Bolivarian cause.

after Maduro accused Petro and other left politicians in the region are becoming part of the “coward left” Petro. replied In a tweet: “I advise Maduro to stop his insults. Cowards are those who do not embrace democracy. Get Venezuela out of oil, take it to the deepest democracy, if you have to step aside, do it.”

Supporters of the Pacto Historico coalition's Colombian presidential candidate, Gustavo petro, and his second-ranked friend, Francia Marquez, attend a rally organized by Marquez in Medellin, Colombia, on April 22, 2022.  Colombia will hold presidential elections on May 29, 2022.  (Photo) by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP) (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of socialist Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro and his second vice president, Francia Marquez, attend a rally in Medellin, Colombia, on April 22, 2022. (Getty Images via JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP)

Despite the perceived distance between Petro and Maduro, possible links between Petro and the Bolivarian Revolution are explored. Hugo Carvajal, a former member of the Venezuelan socialist regime and currently imprisoned in Spain, stated He said he had evidence that Petro was among those who received direct funding from the Venezuelan socialist regime.

While Carvajal refuses to witness Advocate against Petro stated Carvajal actually has evidence against the Petro, but seeks advance guarantees in the midst of his possible extradition to the US.

Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba – had a background with close ties to Hugo Chávez. accused Having more influence than Nicolás Maduro himself – he is among those who form part of Petro’s presidential campaign coalition. Petro has requested Córdoba suspended all campaigning activities following charges against him, including involvement in corrupt affairs. opportunities With Alex Saab, a key ally of the Maduro regime and currently imprisoned in the United States, accused of money laundering.

One of Córdoba’s advisors claims He said it was Petro himself, not the former campaign official, who had close ties to the Venezuelan regime.

For more than 50 years, Colombian citizens have faced terrorist threats from the Marxist National Liberation Army (ELN) and Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) groups (which the Biden Administration recently removed the terrorist label). mass murder, rape, kidnapping, child soldiersand the drug trade. Colombia also saw an intense wave of left-wing uprisings and national strikes in 2021 following President Duque’s unpopular tax proposal.

By February 2022, President Duque owned 73 percent. disapproval evaluation.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.