Latin America Advisor

A Daily Publication of The Dialogue

Where Will Petro Take Colombia’s Foreign Policy?

Within days of his election last month as Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro spoke with leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. // File Photo: Facebook Page of Gustavo Petro. Within days of his election last month as Colombia’s president, Gustavo Petro spoke with leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. // File Photo: Facebook Page of Gustavo Petro.

In the days following his election as the next president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro had phone calls with leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Petro called his conversation with Biden “very friendly,” and he said that with Maduro he discussed strengthening diplomatic ties and fully reopening the border between the neighboring nations. To what extent are Colombia’s diplomatic relations with the United States and Venezuela going to change under Petro, and what is at stake? What sort of foreign policy agenda does Petro have for the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole? How might Petro orient his foreign policy with other countries such as China?

Andrés Martínez-Fernández, Senior Analyst for Latin America at FrontierView: “President-elect Gustavo Petro represents a departure from many of Colombia’s previous policies, and that includes foreign policy, even as domestic issues will remain at the core of his administration’s focus. Climate change and an accelerated transition away from fossil fuels are major foreign policy priorities for Colombia’s next president. Indeed, Petro has stated his intention to build a regional alliance to confront this challenge. However, amid a global energy crunch, President Petro is likely to find little appetite for substantive action on this front, even from leftist governments in Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil, if this year’s election returns Lula da Silva to office. Much of the U.S.-Colombia relationship, including trade, is ingrained in both nations’ laws and institutions, and is therefore not easily upended by any one president. Petro’s desire to shift the nature of U.S.-Colombia…”

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The Inter-American Dialogue publishes the Latin America Advisor every business day for a distinguished membership of informed corporate leaders, scholars, and government officials invested in Latin America’s development and future. The Advisor‘s highly regarded Q&A section covers questions submitted by subscribers themselves. Commentators regularly include heads of state, business leaders, diplomats, economists, analysts, and thought leaders from around the world. Many of the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies subscribe to the Advisor. To subscribe click here or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at ebrand@thedialogue.org.


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