An opposition senator from Colombia denounces the Bogotá government’s servility to the US, by supporting the pressures the latter is imposing on Cuba.
“The current government has been playing an unfortunate role in terms of its foreign policy in relation to Cuba, it has put the Foreign Ministry and international relations in function of the interests of US policy,” said Julian Gallo, a senator from the leftist party, the Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common (FARC), in an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik, published on Tuesday.
Gallo criticized, in fact, the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, for threatening to expel Cuban diplomats, if it is revealed that they carry out interference tasks on Colombian soil.
Duque’s statements followed the publication on Saturday of a report in the local magazine Semana about the alleged attempts by the Cuban government to interfere in favor of the left in the 2022 presidential elections in Colombia.
The report was released days after the outgoing U.S. administration reinstated Cuba on January 11 on the list of “state sponsors of terrorism” from which it had been removed in 2015 by the Obama administration.
Trump’s controversial decision, however, transcended the border of the two countries and gained much support from the Colombian right, which, in turn, asked Duque to review diplomatic relations with Cuba, while the left asked to maintain support for Havana.
On January 13, congressmen from different opposition parties sent a letter to Duque expressing their support for Cuba’s role in the peace process in Colombia, while asking him to resume talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), broken off in 2019 after the latter claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on a police station in Bogotá.
However, the Colombian government has conditioned the resumption of talks with the ELN on the release of the hostages it holds. At the same time, the Colombian High Commissioner for Peace, Miguel Ceballos, believes that Bogotá “should continue to insist on the request for extradition of the members of the ELN” who are in Cuba, but the island refuses to hand them over because it assures that it respects the protocols for breaking the peace talks.
In his conversation with Sputnik, Gallo explained that if the members of the ELN are in Cuba it is because Colombia, “violating international norms” has not allowed the return of that peace delegation. “So it is at least an absurdity to support the government of Donald Trump in this policy of aggression against Cuba, an act that shows how dedicated and kneeling the representatives of the Colombian government are to the United States,” he said.
The congressman also charged Washington for including Cuba in its blacklist of ‘States sponsoring terrorism’, with the argument that the ELN leaders remain there, since, as he clarified, “it was the Colombian government itself that asked the Cuban government to host them to start peace talks”.
by Jeremy Abbott – American Correspondent – WPN