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President Iván Duque dies for meeting with Joe Biden, this seems to be the ultimate purpose of his foreign policy and on his last trip, of the 29 he has made abroad, he again had a failure.
He surely told his advisers that he would take advantage of the installation of the United Nations Assembly to try again, but to cover appearances it would be better to devise a more complex trip that would disguise the true purpose of his departure abroad. Initially they announced a tour of Europe, later they reduced it to a visit to Spain, which, because it is a strong investor in Colombia, would not refuse to make parties for the Colombian president.
Initially it occurred to him to go to the Book Fair in Madrid in which Colombia was the guest of honor. Preparing for the visit, the Colombian ambassador to Spain wanted to make sure that writers critical of the government did not go to it, but only those who had a “neutral position.” The result was an avalanche of criticism for a politicized selection of participants. With this, the launch of the second volume of his book on orange economy had to be canceled the day before his departure. The Spanish missed out on this important launch, but even in the most specialized circles it was not known that there was a first volume and it was grotesque to present a nondescript book in the middle of a fair in which Colombian authors of international dimension had not been invited.
The ceremonies and the kissing were carried out. King Felipe VI made the corresponding entertainments and although he had witnessed the signing of the peace accords with the Farc, he did not refer to the issue, Duque reiterated his attacks on the Maduro government, despite the fact that Spain had announced its optimism for the negotiations in Mexico between the Maduro government and the Venezuelan opposition. The Spaniards ignored Duque’s references to Venezuela, they did not celebrate his speech and tolerated it because this year they have also had more than one encounter with the Venezuelan regime.
In addition to the announcements about investment promises for 2.5 billion dollars, the memory of the donation of vaccines via the Covax mechanism was revived, which are not given away but sold and a mechanism to which Colombia has contributed US $ 214 million. The well-known promise that Spain would donate 50 million euros for all host countries to Venezuelan migrants was recalled, which is due to the Spanish interest in stopping an arrival in that country of these immigrants. Another act was the renewal of an agreement signed in 2014 with the Cervantes Institute, through the important deposit of 7 books on grammar, in the offices of said institution for the promotion of language and culture. The highlight of the visit was the signing of a reciprocal investment protection agreement that had already been signed in 2005 and that was simply updated according to the standards approved in the European Union. As you can see, they are all refried, old news.
The newly appointed Ambassador Pinzón was dedicated 24 hours a day to get an appointment with Biden, even if it was before the end of the Colombian president’s term in 2022.
The trip to Spain was just the advance of that of the United States, the newly appointed ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón was dedicated 24 hours a day to get an appointment with Biden, even before the end of the Colombian president’s term in 2022. To The gallery announced that the topics of the visit were environment, energy transition and the promotion of foreign investment but the official announcements could not deny the reality, it was about meeting with businessmen, political experts, some local media and a center for thought, the Woodrow Wilson Center, to talk about the migration of Venezuelans the country and on the recent decision of the president to grant temporary asylum to a group of 4,000 Afghans.
The result of the visit was the attendance to a series of events in which he was not the main figure or had a major role, but in which he coincided with some leaders of other countries, some businessmen and was one more guest at an event of the Foundation Conservation International (ICCF), which despite its pompous name is just another NGO that manages resources for environmental projects. He also held other meetings such as with billionaires Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg, always offering Colombia as an attractive place for new investments.
In his speeches, Duque was on the defensive because everyone knew his discrepancies with the peace agreement with the FARC, which was endorsed by the entire international community and to cover this, he joined the voices against climate change announcing ambitious decarbonization goals. for him by 2030, which logically nobody believes.
The only thing Duque received from Biden was an invitation that Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman made to Foreign Minister Marta Lucía Ramírez to a summit on December 9 that will address the situation in Venezuela. In other words, Biden postponed not only the appointment but the date of its definition.
Duque’s journey served him to absent himself from the Celac presidential Summit that was taking place simultaneously in Mexico and to which the only Colombian contribution was to veto the inclusion of a call to the international community to to lift the sanctions against Venezuela. Of the 17 attendees at this summit, Colombia was the only country that held this position.
It is an ideological, erratic, opportunistic, kneeling and demagogic diplomacy that could not counteract the enormous decline in favor that places Duque as one of the most unpopular leaders in the world.