Tycoon Howard Buffet also received the Grand Cross in the Order of Merit for his services and donations to Colombia. Thus, the son of Warren Buffet, one of the world's billionaires, shares the nationality of Maluma and J Balvin.
In the case of Colombia, as Duque recognized, the American billionaire has had an almost unprecedented impact from a foreigner, donating more than 140 million dollars to the country. Photo: YT-IvanDuque
LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández
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On the night of October 11, Colombia received the 'birth' of a new billionaire after the President of the Republic, Iván Duque, granted Colombian nationality to Howard Buffet, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffet, and considered as one of the ten richest men in the world.
Although Howard is often recognized under the shadow of his father, the truth is that this 66-year-old man has also made a name for himself in the world for his role as a businessman and philanthropist. In the case of Colombia, as Duque recognized, the American billionaire has had an almost unprecedented impact from a foreigner, donating more than 140 million dollars to the country.
"I am very honored to be here with you and present this citizenship to you in recognition of all that you have done for our nation," said the President in the middle of the diplomatic event that took place at the Colombian embassy in Washington.
Con profundos sentimientos de gratitud otorgamos ciudadanía y Gran Cruz en la Orden del Mérito a un gran amigo de Colombia: Howard Buffett, filántropo íntegro, que no duda extender su mano para apoyar proyectos sociales en el Catatumbo o acabar con las minas antipersona. Gracias pic.twitter.com/YjkyzeU1YT— Iván Duque ???????? (@IvanDuque) October 12, 2021
Why is nationality granted?
Now, beyond the money that Buffet has given to Colombia through his Howard Buffett Foundation, what is important is the way in which this money has been invested in the country and, even more relevant, the strategies that exist for the future. donations in the Colombian territory.
In the past, the billionaire has contributed to great causes such as the creation of schools through the Pies Descalzos de Shakira foundation, whom Buffet himself considers a positive influence on his love for Colombia.
Thus, with the help of the Barranquilla, the businessman decided to travel to Colombia in 2008 and, after seeing for himself the situation in the South American country, he agreed to support Shakira's projects with the donation of 4 million dollars that were used in the construction of a school in Barranquilla and another in Cartagena. From there began the story of "love" and Buffet's support for Colombia.
Since then, it has become a fundamental piece of social processes such as demining in various areas of the country, as well as the implementation of the Peace Agreement with the former FARC guerrilla and the agricultural growth of several Colombian peasant groups.
However, one of the sectors that has received the most help from the North American and that since 2020 has become the focus of its philanthropic project in Colombia is the Catatumbo area, located in the department of Norte de Santander, on the border between Colombia and Venezuela.
"When we met for the first time he asked me how I can help and I answered him I have a great commitment to peace and legality and I want you to accompany me to Catatumbo, to a region affected by violence and poverty," said Duque during his intervention.
El millonario estadounidense Howard Buffett recibió este lunes la nacionalidad colombiana. Se la otorgó el presidente Iván Duque. ¿Por qué? Le contamos → https://t.co/zdj0SvMxyV pic.twitter.com/2tU2h7Crr1— EL TIEMPO (@ELTIEMPO) October 13, 2021
It should be remembered that Catatumbo is one of the most violent areas of the country, with the presence of illegal groups such as the ELN and various criminal gangs considered strongholds of the extinct United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (paramilitaries). The intervention of drug trafficking actors has also been reported.
Seeing this reality, Buffet decided last year, after visiting the municipality of Tibú, one of the most affected in the area, to deliver 46 million dollars to the Colombian Government in order to plan and build a mega-project of highways in Catatumbo, in addition to supporting the elimination of drug crops in said territory.
To date, the billionaire has already donated $ 16 million to this area of the country; money that has been used by the National Highway Institute (INVÍAS) to improve the roads in Tibú and the territories surrounding Catatumbo.
What does it mean that Howard Buffet is considered Colombian?
In addition to the fact that the magnate claimed to see in Colombia a place to retire, the truth is that his new nationality could have a positive impact on social growth and security in the country, taking into account his precedents in the intervention of human projects. and politicians within Colombia.
On the other hand, according to the words of Iván Duque, this new role of Buffet can also be assumed as a sign of the union between Colombia and the United States, countries that have always been considered allies in the region and that could now see their relationship improved.
“Becoming a Colombian citizen is a great demonstration of these last 200 years where we have worked day after day and that symbolizes that this relationship [between Colombia and the US] goes beyond interests. It has to do with the values that have defined our nations, "concluded Duque.
At the moment we have to wait for what will be the new announcements of Howard Buffet for Colombia; its projects within the country and the new figures that it is willing to donate to collaborate in dealing with problems such as illicit cultivation and the resolutions of the Peace Agreement.