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Sun Jun 19, 2022, 06:23 PM

Gustavo Petro wins the Colombian election, becoming the country's first Leftist president.

Source: New York Times

For the first time, Colombia will have a leftist president. Gustavo Petro, a former rebel and a longtime senator who has pledged to transform the country’s economic system, has won Sunday’s election, according to preliminary results, setting the third largest nation in Latin America on a radically new path. Mr. Petro received 50.57 percent of the vote with more than 97 percent counted Sunday evening. His opponent, Rodolfo Hernández, a construction magnate who had energized the country with a scorched-earth anti-corruption platform, won 47.16 percent.

Mr. Petro’s victory reflects widespread discontent in Colombia, with poverty and inequality on the rise and widespread dissatisfaction with a lack of opportunity, issues that sent hundreds of thousands of people to demonstrate in the streets last year. “The entire country is begging for change,” said Fernando Posada, a Colombian political scientist, “and that is absolutely clear.” The win is all the more significant because of the country’s history. For decades, the government fought a brutal leftist insurgency known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, with the stigma from the conflict making it difficult for a legitimate left to flourish.

But the FARC signed a peace deal with the government in 2016, laying down their arms and opening space for a broader political discourse. Mr. Petro had been part of a different rebel group, called the M-19, which demobilized in 1990, and became a political party that helped rewrite the country’s constitution. Both Mr. Petro and Mr. Hernández beat Federico Gutiérrez, a former big city mayor backed by the conservative elite, in a first round of voting on May 29, sending them to a runoff. Both men had billed themselves as anti-establishment candidates, saying they were running against a political class that had controlled the country for generations.

Among the factors that most distinguished them was how they viewed the root of the country’s problems. Mr. Petro believes the economic system is broken, overly reliant on oil export and a flourishing and illegal cocaine business that he said has made the rich richer and poor poorer. He is calling for a halt to all new oil exploration, a shift to developing other industries, and an expansion of social programs, while imposing higher taxes on the rich. “What we have today is the result of what I call ‘the depletion of the model,’” Mr. Petro said in an interview, referring to the current economic system. “The end result is a brutal poverty.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/19/world/americas/gustavo-petro-colombia-election.html



This will be interesting to follow...

15 replies, 1301 views

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2022, 06:27 PM

1. Amazing

Fingers crossed for Colombia.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2022, 07:04 PM

2. Coup-plotters will be getting busy.

...

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2022, 10:29 PM

3. Yay! Congrats to Colombia!!

I hope he makes it through his full term and then some!

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Sun Jun 19, 2022, 11:03 PM

4. K&R! nt

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 09:07 AM

5. My knowledge of Colombian history suggests this is not the country's first leftist president.

from Wikipedia:

"Colombia's political stability, which was interrupted by a bloody conflict that took place between the late 1940s and the early 1950s, a period known as La Violencia ("The Violence". Its cause was mainly mounting tensions between the two leading political parties, which subsequently ignited after the assassination of the Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán on 9 April 1948. The ensuing riots in Bogotá, known as El Bogotazo, spread throughout the country and claimed the lives of at least 180,000 Colombians."

The violence between the two political parties decreased first when Gustavo Rojas deposed the President of Colombia in a coup d'état and negotiated with the guerrillas, and then under the military junta of General Gabriel París.

After Rojas' deposition, the Colombian Conservative Party and Colombian Liberal Party agreed to create the National Front, a coalition that would jointly govern the country. Under the deal, the presidency would alternate between conservatives and liberals every 4 years for 16 years; the two parties would have parity in all other elective offices.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia#20th_century

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Response to Martin68 (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 09:25 AM

7. Thing is

to a degree like here in the U.S., most other countries distinguish "Liberal" from "Leftist", where "Liberal" might be more along the line of "Center-Left" vs "Far-Left", the latter which is what they seem to be suggesting as the origin of Petro's political activity (taking "Leftism" back a notch to get closer to "Liberal" but not really as far to the right as the old traditional "Center-Left" ). I.e., this guy was from one of the Leftist guerrilla groups who decided to form a party and build it "from the inside".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)


Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 12:07 PM

10. The chart of Colombian presidents distinguished between "moderate" and "radical" liberals.

If a radical liberal is not a leftist, then I don't know what is. The article that was posted seemed to assume that because this is the first rebel to be president, he is also the first leftist. But Colombia has a long history of leftist vs conservative politics. So much so that for a time after the violent "Bogotazo" the two parties took turns electing the president.

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Response to Martin68 (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 01:50 PM

14. "then I don't know what is" are your words

Liberals are not leftists. Leftists are not "liberals but even more liberal".

I'm not sure what a radical liberal would be since we're over 200 years into "liberal democracy" and we've gotten rid of the most egregiously illiberal parts of it. Maybe JFK? Perhaps if you dropped Obama into any of the illiberal countries in latin america you could call him a radical liberal.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 12:09 PM

11. Except that in the 19th Century there were moderate liberals and radical liberals.

I posit that the radicals were leftist. Leftist politics have been well-represented throughout Colombia's history.

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Response to Martin68 (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 12:58 PM

12. The issue would then be

whether those "Radical Liberals" were actually engaged in what we would call "terrorism" to gain control of the government power structure or whether they were merely strongly positing, promoting, and actually enacting the far left policies as elected officials and/or as part of a recognized party infrastructure. The group he was involved in (19th of April Movement - Movimiento 19 de Abril) was one of the few that didn't embrace Stalin as the alternate to the RW fascist nationalism and corporatism, but before that, were literally kidnapping and murdering officials and taking over embassies.

Here is Reuter's take -




Reuters
@Reuters
Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, won Colombia's presidency. He is the first leftist in Colombia to claim victory in a presidential election https://reut.rs/3y5iUwI
7:35 AM · Jun 20, 2022



Colombia elects former guerrilla Petro as first leftist president

By Nelson Bocanegra, Oliver Griffin and Carlos Vargas



BOGOTA/BUCARAMANGA, June 19 (Reuters) - Leftist Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement, who has vowed profound social and economic change, won Colombia's presidency on Sunday, the first progressive to do so in the country's history. Petro beat construction magnate Rodolfo Hernandez with an unexpectedly wide margin of more than 700,000 votes in what analysts said was a demonstration of Colombians' eagerness for efforts to combat deep inequality.

Petro, a former mayor of capital Bogota and current senator, has pledged to fight inequality with free university education, pension reforms and high taxes on unproductive land. He won 50.5% to Hernandez's 47.3%. Petro's proposals - especially a ban on new oil projects - have startled some investors, though he has promised to respect current contracts. His victory was likely to cause market jitters until his cabinet is announced, analysts told Reuters on Sunday. "From today Colombia changes; Colombia is different," Petro told cheering supporters in Bogota's concert arena. "Change consists precisely in leaving behind sectarianism." "It is not a time for hate, this government, which will begin on Aug. 7, is a government of life," he said.

(snp)

Petro, 62, said he was tortured by the military when he was detained for his involvement with the guerrillas, and his potential victory had high-ranking armed forces officials bracing for change. Petro's running mate, Francia Marquez, a single mother and former housekeeper, will be the country's first Afro-Colombian woman vice-president.

Petro has also pledged to fully implement a 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels and seek talks with the still-active ELN guerrillas. Analysts have said the proposed halt to oil development could send investment elsewhere at a time when Colombia is struggling with low credit ratings, a large trade deficit and national debt which has doubled to 72% of GDP over the last decade. Oil accounts for nearly half of exports and close to 10% of national income, but Petro argues new projects should be barred for environmental reasons and to move Colombia away from dependence on the industry. Petro has also promised to increase taxes and royalties on extractive industries and charge major landholders for unproductive land, raising some $5.2 billion. He also proposes to raise up to $3.9 billion by progressively taxing companies.

(snip)

https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/colombians-head-polls-tightest-election-recent-memory-2022-06-19/

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 01:36 PM

13. The term "Leftist" does not imply anything related to terrorism. Perhaps instead of saying Petro is

the first leftist elected president, they should say "the first former terrorist elected president."

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Response to Martin68 (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 02:28 PM

15. Well I think the only thing stopping them from doing so

was because the group he belonged to decided to form a party and run with an agenda that espoused their philosophy.

I suppose one could compare that with the MK (as part of the ANC), the PLO (and their offshoots), or Sinn Fein (as part of the IRA).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 09:21 AM

6. A list of Colombia's liberal (radical) presidents from Wikipedia

Santos Acosta Castillo (1828–1901) Liberal (Radical)

Santos Gutiérrez Prieto (1820–1872) Liberal (Radical)

Salvador Camacho Roldán (1868–1869) Liberal (Radical)

Eustorgio Salgar Moreno (1831–1885) Liberal (Radical)

Manuel Murillo Toro (1816–1880) Liberal (Radical)

Santiago Pérez de Manosalbas (1830–1900) Liberal (Radical)

Aquileo Parra Gómez (1825–1900) Liberal (Radical)

José Sergio Camargo Pinzón (19 May 1877–14 August 1877) Liberal (Radical)

Manuel María Ramírez Fortoul (22 December 1877–24 December 1877) Liberal (Radical)

Julián Trujillo Largacha (1828–1883) Libera (Radical)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_presidents_of_Colombia

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Mon Jun 20, 2022, 09:58 AM

9. A strong, highly cooperative, left leaning alliance among all the countries in North America,

South America, Central America, and Cuba would be of great benefit to all citizens residing in these nations.

An added bonus is that it would drive the fascists insane.

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