For the nice of each of our international locations, this type of habits has to finish now.
After all, we all know that the people who’ve just lately weighed in on our election hardly converse for all. Most Colombian politicians, together with these in authorities, proceed to respect our establishments and democratic processes. However simply as we’d name out any Democrats meddling in Colombia’s elections, we imagine current side-taking calls for an unequivocal response from our associates in Bogotá: that sufficient is sufficient.
Assist for Colombia has by no means relied on whether or not a Democrat or Republican was within the White Home — nor, for that matter, on the occasion affiliation of Colombia’s presidents. It ought to keep that approach.
Once we first seen these actions, we had been shocked that they had been coming from Colombia, certainly one of our closest democratic companions. We imagine this quantities to a type of election interference: Biden just isn’t a communist, and in spreading that message, the Colombian lawmakers saying this are misinforming American voters and residents of their very own nation. The unscrupulous judgment of even only a handful of Colombian politicians hurts the nation’s picture and credibility.
These public feedback are deeply unethical. Absurd lies about Biden representing Fidel Castro or Hugo Chávez-style socialism are downright manipulative. And toying with the trauma of Colombians who’ve escaped left-wing guerrilla violence, and that of Venezuelans who’ve fled the tyrannical rule of Nicolás Maduro, is shameful. This fearmongering does nothing greater than cruelly drive diaspora households within the US to relive the ache of their dislocation.
The US has just lately undergone a painful saga over overseas affect on our elections. After Russia’s interference in 2016 and the probe carried out by Robert Mueller, which culminated in a 450-page report, prompted quite a few arrests, overseas makes an attempt to push US elections in any path are an particularly delicate matter for our nation. These feedback don’t assist.
On the finish of the day, although, this is not about particular person politicians. It is a couple of partnership constructed between our two international locations over a long time — a partnership that we each want now greater than ever.
Republicans and Democrats have disagreed up to now on essential overseas coverage points, however on the subject of help for Colombia, there has lengthy been consensus. Are you able to think about negotiating our most vital accomplishments — from Plan Colombia to the US-Colombia Free Commerce Settlement — with out help from each events? We doubt it. What about US help for Colombia’s candidacy as each a NATO international companion and member of the OECD? Republicans and Democrats commerce locations within the White Home each few years. Assist for Colombia is a uncommon fixed. Taking sides in US elections threatens to undermine the strategic relationship.
None of us needs to see our partnership endure. That is as a result of we all know how a lot our international locations can obtain after we work aspect by aspect. Immediately, Colombia is much safer and extra affluent than it was twenty years in the past — an accomplishment constructed on the backs of our courageous Colombian companions and facilitated by across-the-aisle help right here within the US. Colombia is as soon as once more going through a collection of unprecedented challenges, together with the Covid-19 pandemic, an financial downturn, a spike in insecurity and the Venezuelan refugee and migrant disaster. No matter whether or not Biden wins the White Home come November, we would like nothing greater than to maintain — in truth, to extend — our cooperation with Colombia to sort out these challenges collectively.
However partnership just isn’t a assure. It depends on mutual belief. When Colombian politicians select sides, they put all of that hard-won goodwill at risk.
With a lot uncertainty and a lot at stake, now just isn’t the time to play with hearth. Now just isn’t the time to burn bridges. It is the time to strengthen those we now have constructed — no matter occasion — collectively. To do in any other case is brief sighted and guarantees to hazard one of many hemisphere’s most important relationships.