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Iván Marulanda: Colombia must restore relations with Maduro

LatinAmerican Post spoke with the Colombian senator who aspires to the presidency in 2022 .

Ivan Marulanda, Colombian Senator

We spoke with the senator and candidate for the presidency of Colombia for 2022. / Photo: Wikimedia

Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Iván Marulanda: Colombia debe restablecer relaciones con Maduro

It is still a little more than a year and a half for Colombians to choose the replacement of Iván Duque, the actual president. For now, the date looks distant, but pre-candidacies are beginning to appear within several parties. One of these is the senator for the Alianza Verde Party Iván Marulanda, who got ahead of many and postulated his name within the movement.

LatinAmerican Post spoke with the center-left candidate about the current political landscape and his position with Venezuela in the face of a possible presidency.

Pandemic and Latin American political context

For the economist, the pandemic represents a "hecatomb for which nobody was prepared, nor did we have references so that states and political leaders could copy to face this situation."

Faced with the demonstrations that took place in Latin America, Marulanda does not believe that it is due to a social disagreement, but "a disagreement in the face of the inefficiency of the governments. It is not within a political or ideological doctrine, but rather an outbreak of disagreement with inefficiency and uselessness of governments."

This allows "an interesting emergence of the center sectors because the world has been in the hands of the right in recent times in general terms and these Latin American countries with more truth and those forces and those right-wing leaderships have failed. This is the case of the US with Mr. Trump, this is the case of Brazil with Bolsonaro and the populations do not want to disband towards the extreme left [...] that represent more complex questions outside the crisis of the pandemic itself."

Although he warns that the center sectors are not prepared to face a crisis like the one that is being experienced, since he considers that within all the parties "there are no programs, there are no visions of the country supported by political organizations that have held a discussion of those visions. Here there are a lot of isolated voices of people who say things, of orates who make speeches (very easy to say, within many other things) on the basis of the failure of those who are ruling."

Colombia: possible electoral alliances

Marulanda still maintains his position of avoiding allying, at least until the first round, with candidates from the left for two reasons. First, he believes that "here in this sector of the center, there are 7 candidates. On the other hand, there is only one and in a consultation that 1 sweeps these 7. I want to reach the first presidential round with a center-left candidate who represents everyone."

"Let's first set up this center and put together a proposal, a program, which is not difficult, because we are people who have thought the same thing for many decades and an institutional way of presenting ourselves in a popular consultation in March with several candidates. Whoever wins that consultation, that is the only candidate for the first round," said the senator.

Second, the politician prefers not to ally himself with more progressive movements because he considers he sees in some of them a discourse of "hatred and revenge". Marulanda prefers to build a separate candidacy that can compete against the left and the more conservative parties.

"[If] I join with the sectors of the extreme left, Colombia Humana, the Unión Patrioica, the FARC and the Polo Democrático that remained there; forces that have been in the combat directly [...], we remained stuck in the trench and it blurs us,"  he assured LatinAmerican Post.

Read also: What will Biden's relationship with Venezuela and Maduro be like?

Venezuela

The congressman criticized the position taken by the government of President Duque with Venezuela. Since he arrived at the Casa de Nariño, the Uribe politician's main foreign policy has been to attack diplomatically and support sanctions against the Maduro regime.

However, Marulanda believes that "we have to have diplomatic representation in Venezuela and, if I am the president of Colombia, the first thing I do is appoint an ambassador to Venezuela and reestablish official diplomatic relations. I don't have to get involved or qualify if there is good or bad, if he is a dictator or not. I think he is a dictator, I have no doubt, but I have to look out for the interests of Colombia, no more."

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