In the image a record of the Cuban-American congressman Mario Díaz-Balart. EFE/Joe Skipper/File
Mario Díaz-Balart, a legislator from the United States Republican Party, spoke about his opinion regarding the management of Colombian President Gustavo Petro, specifically, the management of illicit crops. In an interview given to the newspaper El Tiempo, the politician assured that “the measures taken by President Petro are returning the country to the 90s.”
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The words of the also president of the Appropriations Subcommittee for Foreign Operations of the Congress of the North American country arise in the midst of the decision of the US president, Joe Biden, to suspend the monitoring of illicit crops in Colombia. According to Díaz-Balart, Petro’s determinations would lead the national territory to go back and reach the time when it was almost “a failed State.”
The North American congressman had already referred to this issue through his Twitter account. In that space, he explained: “I am deeply outraged by the reports that the United States has paused satellite monitoring of coca production in Colombia, and that the Petro administration is no longer aggressively eradicating coca plantations or taking other proactive measures. to stop drug trafficking in Colombia.
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“Because of these troubling reports, I have asked the Biden administration a number of questions about their veracity. Whether the Petro administration is relinquishing its responsibility to keep Colombia safe by eradicating coca production, and what the Biden administration is doing to combat the ruthless cartels that threaten the security of our hemisphere. After more than two decades of progress, we cannot allow Colombia to regress to the near-failed-state situation of the 1990s,″ he continued.
“I will continue to press for answers to these questions and I will demand that the United States continue its work to eliminate the many threats that drug trafficking poses in our hemisphere,” he concluded in the message that he wrote on his profile on the reviewed social network.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro in a file photograph. EFE/Filip Singer
According to what he told the newspaper El Tiempo, in the current budget of the United States Congress there are no funds earmarked for Colombia, and that everything will continue like this until Gustavo Petro “corrects his current course.”
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“Today there are no funds in the House of Representatives appropriation budget. President Petro can change that, but he has to change it with actions, not with words. The words are very nice, but that does not interest me much. What we are monitoring is the situation within Colombia and President Petro’s relations with the world’s narcoterrorists. That worries us a lot. I repeat, the decision belongs to President Petro. If he wants to keep the relationship positive, that he has helped Colombia so much, he can do it and then the funds will be for Colombia. But, if he insists on separating and joining the terrorist countries or the dictatorships of the Hemisphere and the world, he obviously should not expect funds from the US taxpayer, ”he emphasized in his conversation with the national media.
According to what he revealed in the interview, the United States does not want to meddle in the internal situation of Colombia, however, he assured that there is a surprise within the North American country, because what is happening in national territory, according to the politician, is something that ‘had not been seen in the past’.
As he mentioned, after Colombia’s recovery after the difficult years the country lived through in the 1990s, the territory became something “wonderful,” even in a country that “gave an example to the world.” With the administration of Gustavo Petro, however, and according to what Díaz-Balart argues, there seems to be a significant setback. “We are highly concerned (…) in the 90s the internal situation was really dangerous.”