Friendly fire in the Colombian government

Fernando Londoño Hoyos, considered a 'thoroughbred' uribist, said the president should take a license and let Vice President Martha Lucía Ramírez rule

Fernando Londoño Hoyos.

Fernando Londoño Hoyos. / Photo: flickr.com/centrodemocratico

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño

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The statements made by the former minister of the Uribe government, Fernando Londoño Hoyos, were considered as friendly fire. His affirmations were published in the daily editorial of the radio space “La Hora de la Verdad”. Londoño, considered a uribista 'thoroughbred', honorary president of the Democratic Center, the government party, said the president should take a license and let Vice President Martha Lucía Ramírez rule while he talks with the leaders of the national strike. 

The young president of Colombians is facing several issues such as a rising dollar, a continuous trend of unemployment, a low image in the polls, the exponential multiplication of violence against social leaders and against indigenous communities, the demands of large sectors of the country that include students, teachers, indigenous and Afro communities and some unions. On top of that there is a new battlefront that he has had to assume almost surgical delicacy, as one of the most outstanding ideological figures of his party has attacked him mercilessly. Lapidary phrases, such as “why having a President if the President is talking and not governing”, show the rejection to this politician and lawyer. 

The statements of Londoño, recently sentenced to return some actions of Invercolsa, acquired fraudulently, rose the tone of the current situation by stating that “while the President talks, someone has to govern, someone has to direct the Military and Police Forces that are being exceeded not because they are inept, not because they are incapable, but ibecause the order is to not to do anything”. He referred to the dialogue showing weakness instead of conjuring the crisis with a firm hand, as is the political party's motto.

This motto says "Steady hand, Big heart", apparently Duque and Londoño are at the two opposite ends of it, while Duque considers that he is acting with a big heart, Fernando Londoño needs a more steady hand, in his concept .

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The size of the crisis forced the president of Colombia to attend the media, a not very frequent task performed by the president. On the morning of November 27, he attended several interviews in various radio stations such as Blu Radio and La W in Colombia.

In the Blu Radio station, Néstor Morales interviewed him, who apart from being the director of the Mañanas Blu program, is brother-in-law of the president, husband of his sister. Duque before the question of what he thought about the claims of Londoño Hoyos said: “Don't get me to answer about certain characters that feed on their own hatred. I want to tell him that here we are with the government program with which I won the nomination, first, within my party ”, making clear reference that in no way is changing what he promised in campaign against what he has done as head of the executive.

He added that he is ruling “with the government program with which we won an open consultation and the first and second round, and with the government program that reached a development plan,” making a chronology of his victories at the polls.

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The hard criticism of Londoño to his partner in the Democratic Center rose in tone when asked in the editorial "in the meantime and from here to March, who governs? Who rules in Colombia? Who guarantees us the fundamental exercise of our rights? Will the president ask for a license to engage in conversations? Or does the president believe that to govern is to listen to all those in the opposition? ”

On the other hand, La W Radio asked Duque on the same subject. He was emphatic in saying that “I never stayed in personal criticism and poison. The 16 polls were won with a government program ”and added:“ he (Fernando Londoño) will always have motivations coming from his hatred and his own bile. ”

These criticisms add to those made in a private conversation, which was revealed through the media. The Colombian ambassador to Washington, Francisco Santos, and the incoming Foreign Minister, Claudia Blum, made statements regarding two senior officials of Duque's government, which was also considered as 'friendly fire'.

While a whole week of stoppages and demonstrations is almost complete in which the president opened the door to dialogue and where different political sectors have worked in different ways, some trying to appease the spirits, while others want to exalt them, citizenship in the streets contemplates that one of the ideological pillars of the government party make harsh criticism against the president of the Republic as well as some of the members of his own government.

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