Sun Apr 21, 2024
April 21, 2024

Colombia | Gustavo Petro, a Friend to Imperialism

Despite his apparently anti-imperialist speech at the UN, Petro advances his agenda hand in hand with US imperialism.

By: Roberta / PST Colombia

His increasingly smooth relationship with Biden – the commander in chief of global imperialism – proves this to be true. Recently, in a new episode of “cooperation,” Petro and Francia Márquez herself met with Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State. In the past, visits by such officials to Colombia were met by demonstrations, due to the common knowledge that they had come to watch over their imperialist interests, entrench semi-colonial submission, and mark territory in their backyard. Now, reformists of all kinds are welcoming the visit and consider it to be a “positive” event.

In some ways, this attitude is nothing more than an abject and opportunistic posture; in others, it’s a sign of unprecedented naivety. They are so intensely naïve, or brazen, that they even insist that Petro is influencing imperialism, which is to say that the president of a semi-colonial state would influence the decisions and policies of imperialism. You need to be very short-sighted to believe something like that. The United States, despite its decadence, continues to be the number one country in the hierarchy of nations in the global imperialist system. The decisions and policies of its president have the sole objective of safeguarding its own interests, that is, of maintaining the submission and perpetual plundering of countries like Colombia, and its semi-colonies. In no way, and in no point of view is there any possibility that Petro, with his nice speeches, is changing the predatory mentality of imperialism or influencing its policies at all. We want to be completely clear: it is Petro who is being used by imperialism and not the other way around. If imperialism changes or adjusts its policies, it does so for its own benefit and profits, not for ours.

The main topic of the meeting was the shifting strategy of the war on drugs. Since Biden came to power while Duque was president, a change at this level was to be expected. Now, with Petro, there are better conditions to promote a slightly more liberal policy. Of course, we are totally in favor of the legalization of all drugs, as an indispensable part of the fight against violence in Colombia and other countries affected by drug trafficking and mafias. This, however, is definitely not Biden and Blinken’s proposal. Instead, they are opting for a more “flexible and holistic” way of handling the situation that maintains the illegality and persecution of drug trafficking. If imperialism proposes a turn in anti-drug strategy, it is because they see a more convenient turn for their businesses.

Furthermore, in the meeting, other important topics were touched upon, such as Venezuela and different “cooperation” agreements, that is, agreements to strengthen the yoke of imperialism. Also, the objective of the imperialist visit was to make sure that Colombia does not give into pressure from China to expand its markets, that is, to keep Colombia firmly in the Yankee camp in the trade war against the Asian giant. Blinken also met with Francia Márquez to reach agreements on topics relating to “ethnic equity,” which consists of the development of the ethnic chapter of the Peace Accord with the FARC (“Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia,” or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).

In July, before the visit of the Biden Commission, we had already stated that “they will want to maintain the validity of trade agreements, benefits for multinationals of US origin, and timely payment of the foreign debt that consumes a large part of the national budget.”

If Biden has his interests to discuss with the new government, the Colombian people, who voted predominantly for Petro, have theirs, and these interests are in direct opposition to Biden’s: the end of the war on drugs and political, military, and economic sovereignty. Therefore, for the meeting to benefit the Colombian people, it would be necessary for the Petro government to propose a policy of true sovereignty and international independence:

1- Since the US is the largest consumer of coca, Petro must demand that the US government legalize the drug trade to eliminate this bloody business, which costs Colombia thousands of deaths and millions of cases of drug addiction each year.

2- To truly assume a sovereign and independent policy position, the Petro government must break off the military treaties with the US and demand the closure and withdrawal of its military bases, as Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa did with the Manta base. Furthermore, the government must declare that Colombia withdraws as a “Major Ally” and Global Member of NATO. Also, they must reject any type of “aid” that means the strengthening of the repressive apparatus (like the arming of the ESMAD, “Escuadrón Móvil Antidisturbios,” or Mobile Anti-Disturbance Squadron), the training of mercenaries, etc.

3- To guarantee food sovereignty and fight hunger, Petro must break with the free trade agreements (FTAs) that have only served to increase importation, especially of food, deepening food dependence, and raising food prices in a country which has plenty of capacity to produce its own.

4-The government must refuse to pay the onerous and odious foreign debt – which has already been more than paid through interest and plunder – so that this money can instead be used to address poverty and social crises.

5-The government must demand that the US provide armaments without any conditions to the Ukrainian resistance to confront Putin’s criminal invasion of its territory while abandoning its policy of arms escalation, which only increases the risks of new international wars that will only bring more workers’ deaths and destruction.

On our part, we will continue to reject the presence of imperialist delegates in our territory, urge the people not to trust them or their “cooperation,” and maintain that their only concern is to prevent Colombia from being a sovereign nation and to continue plundering our resources.[1]

Today these words and these minimal measures remain absolutely in force.


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