In recent unscripted remarks, president Trump vented his frustrations on Colombian president Ivan Duque, due to the increase in the flow of illegal drugs from Colombia. I think the president’s words that Duque “has done nothing” are not helpful since Duque is one of our best allies in Latin America.
It is imperative to give Ivan Duque the benefit of the doubt. He is one of the good guys in Latin America, a continent where the left has made huge gains in recent decades. Only eight months ago he defeated a left-leaning candidate for the presidency of Colombia.
We need leaders like Duque to lead Colombia for years to come, so let’s cut him some slack….
To say “he has done nothing” to help us to stem the flow of drugs from Colombia is an overstatement. He is doing his best given the cards he has been dealt.
He inherited a country ravaged by years of war with a violent narco-terrorist guerrilla, and he is now dealing with the influx of millions of Venezuelans fleeing the Maduro regime.
Most importantly, he has stood with us in supporting Juan Guaido, the legitimate leader of Venezuela, against the dictatorial Maduro regime. Duque and Jair Bolsonaro, the newly-elected president of Brazil, are the two most important allies of the U.S. in all South America.
Mr. President, we don’t want to undermine our relationship with Ivan Duque. Yes, he won the presidency against the candidate of the left. But this candidate still got 42% of the vote. We need leaders like Duque to lead Colombia for years to come, so let’s cut him some slack.