Where Will Petro Take Colombia’s Foreign Policy?
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…”Read More
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