Photo: La Prensa Web

Remember when I told you a few months ago not to panic at your sight of Gustavo Petro doing well during the first round? Well, I repeat my message. You’ll get a chance to panic soon enough (at me!), don’t worry.

But first, what happened?
You can follow the the results here, regions are colored only by winner regardless of their margin, so you’ll have to click through each to see details.

Iván Duque & Marta Lucía Ramírez (39.1%):

The happiest man of this election. His over 7.5 million votes add up to more than what he obtained in the primary combined with those of Ramírez, his opponent at the time. This result, in terms of raw votes, is still better than his party’s candidate in 2014.

This result, in terms of raw votes, is still better than his party’s candidate in 2014.

Regionally, there’s not much difference between 2014 and 2018, with uribistas winning the central regions of the country, unsurprisingly dominating Uribe’s heartland of the Medellín area and the coffee belt. The big change? In the 2014 runoff, Santos won in Norte de Santander. In the peace plebiscite, he barely lost it. Now, in 2018, it was the best department for Duque in the entire country, with great results in Cúcuta.

It’s now clear that the Venezuelan migration crisis is playing a significant political role in certain regions of Colombia. The other most pro-Duque departments were also in the border region.

Gustavo Petro & Ángela María Robledo (25.1%):

While Petro’s final score was not as high as certain polls predicted (around 30%), his result was still impressive, beating his own 2010 score by millions of votes and having the best result of a left-wing candidate in recent history.

His best results were in the least economically developed regions of the country.

But what’s remarkable about Petro is the geographic distribution of his votes, reaching out to a periphery that had been traditionally abstentionist or motivated by local leaders. His best results were in the least economically developed regions of the country, those most affected by the armed conflict (both by guerrilla and paramilitary fighters) and even in certain departments of his home region of the Caribbean, including those next to Uribe’s famous hacienda.

Sergio Fajardo & Claudia López (23.7%):

Underestimated by the polls, it seems like Fajardo grew considerably during the last week (when publishing polls is banned), and surprised everyone by coming just a few points behind Petro. His strength came most notably from Bogotá, where he was the overall winner.

He also took quite a few rural areas, another surprise.

He also took quite a few rural areas, another surprise, but unlike Petro, these were in the economic and geographic center of the country, meaning: his message reached beyond his socially progressive, urban middle class into traditionally rural and conservative areas.

Germán Vargas Lleras & Juan Carlos Pinzón (7.3%):

The predicted winner was anything but. In his eight years in government he was minister of the Interior, minister of Housing and even vice-president, always the face of infrastructure projects and massive housing plans, never missing the chance to set up a stage filled with grateful families.

The predicted winner was anything but.

And yet, he got soundly defeated in most of the country.

It seems like the lack of charisma and eight years of unpopular government can really drag you down. Vargas Lleras and his party were famous for his maquinaria, the vast teams of local leaders who would bring out voters in exchange for political favor. The thing is that when politics are so transactional, the incentive is to go with the winning team, who may actually reward you in the end.

Humberto de la Calle & Clara López (2.1%):

De la Calle was the guy who spent years in Cuba leading the negotiating team with the FARC to write the peace agreement, considering the presidential race as his final duty. In the end, leftists went with Petro, moderate progressives with Fajardo and everyone else either dislikes the deal or had no time for someone so close to President Santos. He was also not-so-secretly sabotaged by his own party.

The second round:

It’s coming down to either President Duque or President Petro.

In these circumstances, candidates tend to move to the center. For Duque to win, he needs to be a soft-spoken, modern economic technocrat who is also strong on drugs, crime and, of course, Maduro. Duque has close to 40% of votes in the bank, so being cautious is his best strategy. He may also remind voters of Petro’s past in the M-19 guerrilla, but that argument has lost force when many of its former combatants have reached high office, including an uribista senator.

He can also count on the supporters of Vargas Lleras to vote against Petro, who they see as a risk to the economy and institutions, not to mention a terrible mayor of Bogotá. There is also a diverse group of voters, which includes the more economically conservative, peace deal skeptics, and those who just plain don’t like Petro or Duque, voting “blank” instead, which is an option on the ballot but has no legal effect in a runoff election.

It’s coming down to either President Duque or President Petro.

For Petro to win, he has to present himself as a more modern, open democrat, who can build diverse and welcoming alliances. He can call back to his days as a popular senator, focusing on corruption and power abuse. Hesitant voters need to be reassured that land reform through tax is not “¡Exprópiese!”

He also needs to hammer home the idea that Duque is just a façade for Uribe, where the ex-pres would control the Executive and Congress, and while Uribe was ultimately kept in check by the courts, Duque has proposed a reform that would give the president more control over the Judicial branch.

Most important, though, he needs to get the votes (that re-elected Santos) of those who accept he’s the last chance we have to defend the peace agreement and to stop the return to violence that marked the Uribe years.

That’s how, this time, he’ll be getting mine.
See? Panic at me!

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  1. The leapard does not change it’s spots. Your vote for Petro is a vote for Cuba and an invitation for them to colonize Colombia like they did Venezuela. Ten years from now, I hope I am not saying, “Told you so…”

    • Having said that, Land Reform through aggressive property taxation and collection is a good policy. In addition to raising revenue for infrastructure, it forces property owners to put their property to work or sell it.

      • ….or give it to the State to be re-distributed to the impoverished masses who will receive funding from Colombo Agro-Patria….

  2. “Most important, though, he needs to get the votes (that re-elected Santos) of those who accept he’s the last chance we have to defend the peace agreement and to stop the return to violence that marked the Uribe years.”

    I’m confused by this analysis:

    The Uribe years were marked by defeating FARC and stopping the violence.

    The Santos years were marked by the support of Chavismo (through inaction and weakness) and the growth of the ELN.

    • The Uribe years left the most victims, as seen in this graph
      The raw data comes from the official victims office: where you can sort by year.
      A new study uncovered that the number of extrajudicial killings “falsos positivos” was underreported and could be as high as 10,000:
      You can read the testimony of a mother whose intellectually disabled child was kidnapped, disguised as a guerrillero and killed by the army for performance bonuses:
      In 2016 the Military Hospital had only ONE injured soldier on Christmas Eve. That number used to be in the 40s:
      It’s hard to estimate a counterfactual but thousands of lives have been saved by the peace process:

        • The FARC victims are included in the stats I gave you. I hate the FARC and that’s precisely why my votes (Santos II, YES) have been to end them and my vote for Petro will be to keep the accord that demobilized them.

          • When Petero-Chavez eventually wins, probably next Col. pres. elections 4-5 years from now, the FARC casualties will seem like child’s play compared to Colombia’s resulting new/much higher homicide rate (Venezuela, dixit).

          • So you’re blaming Uribe for deaths caused by FARC?

            What am I hearing here?

            The inference in the article is that Uribe was responsible for deaths.

          • ** “my vote for Petro will be to keep the accord that demobilized them.”

            I have little patience for this kind of anti-logic, but I’ll try to avoid insults as much as possible.

            The farc continued to commit ALL the crimes they’ve been doing these years after signing the agreement, the most notably ecent examples having been the kidnapping and murder in cold blood of the ecuatorian journalists and the smuggling of ten tons of coccaine to USA.

            ** “The inference in the article is that Uribe was responsible for deaths.”

            As all petro-fans would claim.

          • I hate the FARC
            Then you need to reconcile the following.
            Hugo Chávez was a big-time supporter of the FARC. Among other things, he granted the FARC refuge in Venezuela, where the FARC preyed on Venezuelans just as the FARC preyed on Colombians.

            In his comment @ 12:59, Omar provided a link to an article that shows that Petro is a big-time fanboy of Hugo Chávez. “In spite of his sympathies, Petro couldn’t be a Chávez.” (How can anyone have ANY sympathy with El Finado, given the ruin his policies have made of Venezuela?)

            Do we assume that Petro’s sympathies for El Finado extend to his support of the FARC?


      • The Uribe years left the most victims, as seen in this graph

        The murder rate during Uribe’s term in office (2002-2010) fell dramatically. From Medellín homicide rate, 1975-2015 one can download murder data for Medellín and for Colombia.

        Murder Rate for Medellín (murders/100,000 inhabitants)
        2002 177
        2010 86.3

        Murder Rate for Colombia (murders/100,000 inhabitants)
        2002 65
        2010 38.4

        If Uribe was the bloodthirsty sort that left the most victims in the armed conflict, then how do you account for the dramatic drop in murder rate during Uribe’s time in office?
        Inquiring minds want to know.

        • Murder rate (from common criminals) and victims as a result of armed conflict are two different things, boludo. Either way, the Colombian military – under Uribe – killed more civilians than the FARC.

          • Murder rate (from common criminals) and victims as a result of armed conflict are two different things..
            In the case of Colombia, common criminals and armed conflict are not two entirely different things, insofar that the FARC was also heavily into cocaine dealing. The FARC was into armed conflict and also into crime.

            You avoided answering my question: If Uribe was the bloodthirsty sort that left the most victims in the armed conflict, then how do you account for the dramatic drop in murder rate during Uribe’s time in office?

          • farcs have always been “common criminals” since they are drug dealers and kidnappers.

            There hasn’t been an “armed conflict” at any time ever in Colombia, that’s simply the lie used by the farc to separate themselves from the barrio mugger / rapist / murderers and deceive gullible people.

            Also, BOLUDO, by that logic, pablo “take the bribe or the bullets” escobar, should have been considered a “belligerent party” in an armed conflict and not as a drug kingpin.

            “the Colombian military – under Uribe – killed more civilians than the FARC.”

            petro-fans have such pathetic logic.

          • @ Boludo. It is undeniable that Uribe delivered on security, his “seguridad democrática” is what helps explain his popularity (along with a nationalist, populist discourse that was anti-FARC). The mere fact that my family could travel from the city to nearby villages was a tremendous accomplishment and unthinkable in the 1990s.

            However, the relatively recent backlash against Uribe is pretty much a result of two things: (1) the left no longer feel stigmatized nor are discredited to criticize him publicly and (2) the links Uribe and his allies have with drug traffickers and paramilitaries are very hard to ignore. 80 of his allies have served or are in jail. Then add all the corruption scandals (agro ingreso seguro) and you can quickly see that there’s a lot of impunity surrounding Uribe.

            With that said, no, common criminals are not the same thing as the FARC. Admittingly, common criminals are often subcontracted to carry out crimes, but this is also true of paramilitaries, drug traffickers and other organized crime. But to say any murder or robbery that happens in whatever part of the country is somehow linked to the FARC is intellectually dishonest. You’re conflating the two in order to make your argument plausible. But nah.

          • From he guy who blocked me after he Implied that I was some rich kid in Rosales and I answered that i had lived in La Guajira for 10 years?

            Calling him out for his uncritical view of Petro also didn’t make him friendnlier I wonder why?

          • Stop dodging the question, Omar:

            ” If Uribe was the bloodthirsty sort that left the most victims in the armed conflict, then how do you account for the dramatic drop in murder rate during Uribe’s time in office?”

  3. Can someone splain me how, after seeing millions of Venezuelans fleeing Maduro, Petro receives a single vote? Is it a case of, “Petro will do it right this time”?

    It’s mind-blowing.

    • I’m genuinely interested. I get that you dislike Petro’s approach to chavismo in the past (I do) and may think he’s secretly chavista, but why do you think he’s a Cuban pawn?

        • That doesn’t answer my question.
          (And it affects my family, their livelihoods, their home same for my friends)

          • It DOES answer your question.

            Basically you con’t care that Colombia goes down in flames just because a childish tantrum and a ludicrous racism.

        • I don’t think he’s secretly chavista. But even if he was, that wouldn’t mean he was a Cuban pawn. Petro and M-19 were never aligned with Cuba or their model.

          • It gets tedious explaining this over and over again. Leftist governments always tend to become authoritarian. They believe in the ability of government to control the economy. They instinctively distrust free markets because they can’t control them. When they try to control the market it always produces unintended negative consequences (such as shortages). They can never admit they were wrong, so in order to correct the negative consequences, they always want more control and more power. Once power becomes concentrated in the central government, unscrupulous thugs begin to use that power to enrich themselves. Eventually, any of the remaining naive idealists who actually believed that they could use that power justly get purged. Finally, the government is converted into a ruthless mafia.

            “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

          • Petro and M-19 were never aligned with Cuba or their model.

            From my Bing Search at a previous comment.
            Special Report No. 90, Cuba’s Renewed Support of Violence in Latin America, December 14, 1981,
            Cuban assistance to Colombian guerrillas was stepped up after the February 1980 seizure of the Dominican Republic Embassy in Bogota. A number of diplomats, including the U.S. Ambassador, were taken hostage by M-19 terrorists. As part of a negotiated settlement, the terrorist were flown on April 17, 1980 to Cuba, where the remaining hostages were released and the terrorists were given asylum.

            During mid-1980, Cuban intelligence officers arranged a meeting of Colombian extremists, attended by representatives from the M-19, FARC, ELN, and other Colombian radical groups, to discuss a common strategy and tactics. The M-19 had previously held talks with the Nicaraguan FSLN on ways to achieve unity of action among guerrilla groups in Latin America. Although the meeting did not result in agreement by Colombian guerrillas on a unified strategy, practical cooperation among the guerrilla organizations increased.

            In late 1980, the M-19 set in motion a large-scale operation in Colombia with Cuban help. In November, the M-19 sent guerrillas to Cuba via Panama to begin training for the operation. The group included new recruits as well as members who had received no prior political or military training. In Cuba the guerrillas were given 3 months of military instruction from Cuban army instructors, including training in the use of explosives, automatic weapons, hand-to-hand combat, military tactics, and communication. A course in politics and ideology was taught as well. Members of the M-19 group given asylum in Cuba after the takeover of the Dominican Republic Embassy also participated in the training program.

            In February 1981, some 100-200 armed M-19 guerrillas reinfiltrated into Colombia from Panama by boat along the Pacific coast. The guerrillas’ mission to establish a “people’s army” failed. The M-19 members proved to be poorly equipped for the difficult countryside, and the Cuba-organized operation was soon dismantled by Colombian authorities. Among those captured was Rosenberg Pabon Pabon, the M-19 leader who had directed the Dominican Republic Embassy takeover and then fled to Cuba. Cuba denied any involvement with the M-19 landings but did not deny training the guerrillas.(17)

            Cuba’s propaganda support for Colombian terrorist was impossible to deny. When a group of
            dissidents kidnaped an American working for a private religious institute, Cuba implicitly supported the terrorists’ action through Radio Havana broadcasts beamed to Colombia in February 1981, which denounced the institute workers as “U.S. spies.” Radio Moscow picked up the unfounded accusation to use in its Spanish broadcasts to Latin America. The American was later murdered by the kidnappers.(18)

            Colombia suspended relations with Cuba on March 23, in view of the clear evidence of Cuba’s role in training M-19 guerrillas. President Turbay commented in an August 13 New York Times interview: “…When we found that Cuba, a country with which we had diplomatic relations, was using those diplomatic relations to prepare a group of guerrillas to come and fight against the government, it
            was a kind of Pearl Harbor of us. It was like sending ministers to Washington at the same time you are about to bomb ships in Hawaii.”

            For Gilbert and Sullivan fans:
            What, never?

            No, never!

            What, never?

            Hardly ever!

            M-19 hardly ever got help from Cuba, so Rodrigo informs us. 🙂

        • Boludo, you do know that there was a peace process between the Colombian government and M-19, right? And you do know that the 1991 Constitution was partly a result of that peace process, right? And you do know that about a third of the members voted into the constituent assembly (to write the Constitution) were former M-19 members, right? And you do you know that Alvaro Uribe not only supported this process, but actually – as recently as 2015 – defended the pardons that were granted to the M-19 guerrillas, right?

          With all that said, do you think the 1991 Constitution is illegitimate? And was this peace process-constitutional assembly a part of some long-term scheme by Fidel to take over Colombia? And if that is the case, is Uribe complicit in this creation of so-called Cuban pawns in Colombia right now and the state’s current “vulnerability”? Or is all this Cuba-M-19 links resolved and now water under the bridge and you’re simply deploying the same rhetorical devices to emotionally manipulate people?

          • Recall my previous comment: “Looks to me like selective use of standards.”

            I am reminded of Indulgences. In effect, the peace process said that M-19 members were granted indulgences for the various atrocities that M-19 committed. Well and good. However, the peace process, a.k.a. indulgences, doesn’t mean that M-19 members didn’t commit atrocities. It means that M-19 members can’t be prosecuted for those atrocities. There is a difference.

            It is rather two-faced for former M-19 members to denounce alleged atrocities on the part of their political opponents, as M-19 committed similar atrocities. That is my point.

            Granted, M-19 members may not be prosecuted, neither for atrocities they have committed nor for atrocities they merely supported (accessory to a murder). What I am discussing is not a legal issue, but a moral issue.

            Petro was a member of M-19, an organization that committed its fair (or unfair) share of atrocities. As such Petro is a hypocrite when he denounces alleged atrocities on the parts of others. Recall, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

            That is my point. Petro is a hypocrite. Rodrigo is a hypocrite- “selective use of standards” regarding being upset at Uribe supposedly running roughshod over the law, when Rodrigo conveniently ignores the multiple times that M-19 and by extension Petro- also ran roughshod over the law (Supreme Court 1985).

            To my way of thinking, Petro, by virtue of having belonged to M-19, has no credibility whatsoever when he denounces alleged atrocities on the part of his political opponents. Pot, meet kettle.

            I don’t like self-righteous hypocrites. Petro impresses me as precisely that. Scold also comes to mind.

          • @ Boludo. That’s a different (and fair) argument. Whether or not Petro actually participated in an atrocity is irrelevant since he belonged to a group that did, and chose to remain a member.

            But I can turn that very argument on you and claim that the Colombian state and el uribismo has very little to no moral authority. First, for historical reasons, including the repression of the Liberal Party that ultimately culminated in La Violencia where the state engaged in a blatant policy of extermination; the quasi-narco-state that existed in the 1990s; the institutional outsourcing to paramilitaries to carry out political cleansing (Convivir); and how many of the local institutions today are captured by organized crime (read ‘La frontera caliente entre Colombia y Venezuela).

            Second, under uribismo, there has been enormous corruption scandals (Reficar, Agro Ingreso Seguro, Obredecht), illegal wiretaps, communicational hegemony and 10,000 falso-positivos. To put this in perspective, more civilians were killed by the Colombian military under Uribe than Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile.

            El uribismo has no moral authority. If you are Colombian, and if you could vote on Sunday, to be consistent, you’d vote en blanco.

          • But I can turn that very argument on you and claim that the Colombian state and el uribismo has very little to no moral authority.

            I could see that argument. The reply is that none of the big actors in Colombia have that moral authority. Well, maybe the Latvian origin mayor of Bogota had some moral authority. He seemed to be a decent sort with a good record of governance.

            Ni M-19
            Ni ELN
            Ni FARC
            None of them have any moral authority. Not just Uribe and the Colombian state.

            Petro, by virtue of his hypocritical denunciations of other actors- we all know that M-19 did not have clean hands- also lacks moral authority. The fact that Petro shouts longer and louder than anyone else merely does a good job of masking his lack of moral authority. That Petro can succeed at that indicates the gullibility of some sections of the Colombian electorate.

            I am reminded of the gullibility of the Venezuelan election of 1998, when a golpista was voted in. When in office, Hugo acted as one could expect a coupster to act. Surprise, surprise.

            The surprising thing is that with all the political turmoil Colombia has had since 1948, the Colombian state is still functioning, and functioning better than it did 20-30 years ago- if still not at optimal functioning. (Fidel Castro was in Bogotá when Gaitán was killed- an interesting historical coincidence.)

            You have pointed out that Uribe people have gone to jail. That doesn’t happen in Venezuela. Which indicates the Colombian state is functioning at some level.

            For all your kvetching about Uribe, he left Colombia in better condition than it was when he began his Presidency in 2002.

            and how many of the local institutions today are captured by organized crime (read ‘La frontera caliente entre Colombia y Venezuela).
            That is a problem – and has been a problem for decades. Frontier crime comes mostly from the FARC and ELN- aided and abetted by Chavismo.

            The question is, as nobody in Colombia has moral authority, who will do a better job of governing? As Mayor, Petro was authoritarian and surrounded himself with yes-men. Which also describes El Finado. I have previously made comments about Petro and El Finado, whom Petro described as “great Latin American leader,” so I will not further repeat myself.

            The ruin that Venezuela is today is the result of policies that Hugo Chávez instituted- policies that his successor has maintained, for the most part. When Chávez died in 2013 with oil at $100, it was already evident that Chavismo’s purported “accomplishments” were pretty much smoke and mirrors. See Killer Facts About Chavismo in 140 Characters. As such, anyone who described Hugo as “a great Latin American leader” is an ignorant fool not fit to govern. I repeat: an ignorant fool not fit to govern.

          • <>

            Mostly from the FARC and ELN? No. Local institutions – at least on the Colombian side – are captured and infiltrated mostly by private armies and paramilitaries/BACRIM. See this report:

            Lastly, I agree that Uribe – ironically – left the state in a much stronger standing than when he found it. I remember, years ago, reading literature that warned that Colombia risked being a failed state. But we also have to keep in mind that this was in the context of ‘Plan Colombia,’ where the US invested a lot of funds in the strengthening of Colombian institutions and army/police modernization and training.

            Either way, we have our differences with regards to point of view, we’ll see how the elections play out Sunday!

      • “but why do you think he’s a Cuban pawn?”

        That kind of joke question is THAT?! Didn’t you get the memo, dude? ALL OF CHAVISMO IS MADE OF CUBAN PAWNS.

  4. Fortunately, I have already made arrangements to have someone cancel out your vote. We all now know which side of the game you are on. Please don’t bother to respond to me or engage in making more excuses for M-19 or Petro.Very few here are buying that nonsense after watching the disentegration of Venezuela before their very eyes.

  5. What an awful post.

    Mister Palau. Have you heard about the Venezuelan crisis? The country is going through the worst economic depression ever recorded in the western hemisphere.

    Of course, you already know that. And you also know that Gustavo Petro, the left wing candidate that you are planning to support next week, has always been a solid chavista ally (this was in freacking 2016, when the country was already sinking:

    Now, let’s forget about the fact that there is a reasonable chance that Petro could try to implement radical socialist policies that would destroy your country, just like they have destroyed Venezuela. Let’s forget about Petro’s past as a guerrilla fighter and his awful record as Bogota’s mayor. What enrages me is that you actually have the nerve to write your intention to take such a stupid decision in a site called CARACAS Chronicles.

    It’s like you are mocking us, like you are saying that you don’t care about our suffering and that you won’t move a finger to help. In fact. Is just the opposite: you will vote for someone who, in the best case, will look to the other side when confronted about the Venezuelan situation (that’s the best case scenario. The most probable one is that he will actively support the dictatorship).

    You have no solidarity with you neighbors, and should be ashamed of yourself. Thank God Duque is going to win and you won’t get the chance to experience the hard-left statist dystopia that has ruined so many lives here. It’s a real shame, but the old saying “nadie aprende de comunismo ajeno” seems to be true. Enjoy the freedoms that you are trying to destroy with your vote, others haven’t had your luck.

    • I will not vote for the party of the man who changed the constitution to get reelected and tried to get indefinite reelection, who stifled dissent, persecuted political dissidents, who bullied the media, who used his personal charisma to set up shows every Saturday morning in every town in the country to run the country however he pleased, claiming his popularity was above the rule of law. I will not vote for the inexperienced, hand-picked successor of that man.
      It seems to me I learned the lessons of Venezuela very well.

          • This was a reference to Mr. Uribe, in case you didn’t get it.
            On the contrary, YOU don’t get it.
            Omar provided a link:A pesar de sus simpatías, Petro no podría ser un Chávez quotes Petro:

            “Viviste en los tiempos de Chavez y quizás pensaste que era un payaso. Te engañaste. Viviste los tiempos de un gran líder latinoamericano.” “You lived in the times of Chavez and perhaps you thought he was a clown. You fooled yourself. You lived in the times of a great Latin American leader.”

            That tweet shows Petro is a Chávez fanboy. As such, it is logical to conclude that Petro may well follow the Chávez playbook.

            Consider the issue of nationalizations/expropriations of properties. In his 1998 Presidential campaign, Chávez said he wouldn’t expropriate/nationalize. Chávez lied. Blatantly.

            Here is Petro:
            “Nosotros somos el socialismo del siglo 21 y lo de chavez es el socialismo del siglo 20 yo no expropio la propiedad de los trabajadores.” (“We are 21st century socialism and Chavez is 20th century socialism and I don’t expropriate workers’ property.”)

            It is not difficult to conclude that like his hero, Petro is lying about not expropriating. Also note Petro didn’t make any statement about property that non-workers owned.

            The longer he was in office, the more autocratic Chávez became.
            NET. is predicting that Petro, a Chávez fanboy, will follow in the footsteps of El Finado and become more autocratic. After all Petro considers El Finado to be a “great Latin American leader.”
            I consider that a reasonable prediction.

            Perhaps you, who denied any Cuban involvement with M-19- a denial easily refuted- do not consider that a reasonable prediction.

      • “I will not vote for the party of the man who changed the constitution to get reelected and tried to get indefinite reelection..”

        But I WILL vote for the man who belonged to M-19, an organization that took the Supreme Court justices hostage. After all, that was all in a good cause 🙂
        Looks to me like selective use of standards.

        • @Boludo Tejano,. Not mention that they killed 11 of the Supreme Court Justices which was almost half of them….and not to mention that 100 of the 300 histages were killed as well. Yeah….that’s who need running Colombia .

        • “I will not vote for the party of the man who changed the constitution to get reelected and tried to get indefinite reelection..”

          But you’ll vote for someone who WILL perform a CONSTITUYENTE to utterly destroy the colombian constitution not only to get reelected, but to DECIMATE the country to favor his cronies’ monopolies.

  6. You are right about one thing….Petro is not secretly chavista…he has not made any effort to hide his admiration of Chavez. He has been seen on many occasions strolling arm in arm through the streets of Bogota with Hugo . Go peddle your revisionist history somewhere else.

  7. I mean, after the peace plebiscite was discarded when “No” won and they went ahead with the deal anyway, you’d have to have at least a clue as to who got the better (and had the upper hand in the negotiations) out of the deal.

    There’s a reason the ELN has gotten bigger in the past year. There’s a reason Timochenko has boo’ed out of running. There’s a reason you don’t tolerate candidates with guerrilla past (people who kidnap, torture, kill and deal with drugs regularly) anywhere near a position of power. There’s a reason you don’t allow people with anti-democratic views to run a democracy.

    How is this a hard concept to grasp.

  8. I can’t believe that CC would post such BS. I wonder who approved this propaganda piece that intentionally rubs salt into the wounds of Venezuelans. I have to say I think less of CC than I did yesterday.

    • Hear, hear. This is below you, CC. It would be great if you implemented some kind of like/dislike system for the posts (or the comments!). Give us the option to show our conptemt for shameful stuff such as this piece of international chavista propaganda.

  9. I am a Venezuelan living in Colombia and all the young people think the same way as the author of the piece. This is what I am continually hearing.

    ‘Venezuela is not Colombia, we have strong institutions.’

    ‘Socialism works in Europe, why would it not work in Colombia’

    ‘We need to kick out the corrupt people in government’

    ‘Petro’s government will be inclusive’

    Quite frankly it’s ridiculous. Thankfully Duque will most probably win.

    • With 110% respect if this is the “oposition” news source. It really looks like venezuelans have nobdy to blame but themselves for letting Cuba in and destroying their country.

      Only semi decent old opistion I can think of is Osvaldo Alvarez Paz and you can’t oppose socialisim with just one guy.

      • There’s a reason Alvarez Paz was banned from all media LONG before globovisión was seized by diosdado.

        It’s basically the same reason of why María Corina has been treated the same by the “opposition media” in Venezuela, including that pathetic incident where César Miguel Rondón tried to use as an argument against her that “she didn’t have even 1% of the votes”

        Rondón might have a great baritone, but that day I lost all the respect I had for him.

  10. @veneco…the same phenomona occurs here in the states..i.e. Bernie Sanders who gained quite a bit of traction among young voters who were not old enough, or wise enough to understand the dangers of socialism. They don’t understand nor are aware of the millions and millions of deaths that occurred around the globe because of this evil ideology that must have bubbled up from the depths of hell. Thankfully, for the time being at least, there are enough people in Colombia that want no part of that way of life. They realize that hell yes that could happen in Colombia.

  11. Just to change the subject slightly, I made the rounds today looking for something to eat in the form of vegetables.

    Stop No. 1: Romerito had 3 small auyamas and about 2 kilos of aji dulce. That was it. Nothing else.

    Stop No. 2: Nothing. He was once one of the better-supplied vendors in town. Has his own transportation but said it doesn’t matter because he can’t find product.

    Stop No. 3: Simon. This guy used to have everything. I remember even buying apples, pears, and grapes from him way back a decade ago or so. Today I bought 2 kilos of yuca and 1 kilo of tiny tomatoes. They’re not cherry tomatoes, they’re just tiny because there’s no fertilizer. He also had a few small auyamas, but short of a few kilos of yuca and tomatoes, nothing else.

    I do not know how people are surviving here right now, especially the kids. Kids need vitamins in order to grow healthy minds and bodies and they can’t possibly be getting what they need by eating just yuca.

    We had another long blackout today so we couldn’t make masa. Power’s on again and the machine is running. We’ll make what we can today and then again tomorrow and the next. We’re down to our last 900 kilos or so of maiz trillado. When that’s gone, there’s nothing else in sight.

  12. @MRubio…that really sucks! As much as I like cornbread I know that a diet of corn and starchy yuca is not healthy at all. I hope that the author of this junk piece of leftist propaganda reads your post. I hope you can find something more substantial soon at one of your vendors!

    • Tom, I rarely eat arepas, just don’t care for them. Same for empanadas. There was a time when we could find the masa for pastelito, which I do enjoy, but they’re not available any longer, and besides, we can’t find cooking oil! Like an old boss of mine used to say, “if we had some ham we could have ham and eggs, if we had some eggs”. LOL That’s where we are today.

      Having said that, my woman and I eat pretty well under the circumstances. We’re able to afford beef, the occsassional chicken when one’s available, and pork as well when available. The average Venezuelan no longer has the means to buy those foods, and they no longer have the transportation required to find them either.

      Thanks to member John here at CC, I’ve got radish, swiss chard, orach, cress, lettuce, brococoli, okra, green beans, snow peas, basil and arugula growing in the backyard right now. It’s a challenge with the tropical fungal diseases, leaf cutter ants, and my dogs who love freshly tilled soil, but it’s something to supplement our diets. And many locals are doing the same in their back yards thanks to John’s generous offer of sending seeds our way. Like everything else these days, seeds are almost impossible to find.

      BTW, it appears I’ve eaten my last potato for the foreseeable future as well. They no longer make it to this side of the country, and if they did, they’d be too expensive to sell by the kilo to the locals, so they’re not showing up here.

  13. @ MRubio…I am glad to hear that your diet includes some beef and veggies when possible. I have never had a Venezuelan arepa but have had many Colombian arepas which I liked. I am sure they are very similar.
    Do you ever make a plain old southern style cornbread? Sure goes good with a pot of beans and a slice of onion!

    • Tom, grew up in the deep south. Never cared for cornbread either. About my favorite way to eat an arepa is to break it in pieces and drown it in my soup. Don’t get me wrong, I can eat them, they’re just not my first choice………or second, or third.

      Ever had bollos…..balls of boiled harina pan? Yummy, LOL.

  14. Ok guys I hate to say this, the fact that CC an “oposition” news organization can so easily be fooled into publishing this without any mention of Petro’s connection to the PSUV and the CCP, shows how Venezeulans are pendejos and no wonder they were the first country to be subjected to Cuba. Petro also supported Maduro’s Constitutinal assembly vote. The US Progressive network The Young Turks wasn’t even this stupid.

    Somebody in venezuela read a book who isn’t fomr a marxist socalist or socialdemocrat for once.

    Note to the Editor: Guys I hate what is happening to Venezuela, but your just fuelng the fire to people closing their doors to Venezuelans around the world.

  15. @ MRubio…never had bollos. Or at least if I did I don’t remember them. Good luck in the veggie patch. Sounds like you need to plant some potato’s too!

    • @MRubio…that is if you can find any potatoes to cut into pieces and plant. If there are none around I guess this would be difficult.

  16. As someone with extended family (in-laws) in Cesar Department, whose area has borne a great deal of grief from both the guerilla and especially the paracos, I hear similar words from them as compared to Mr. Palau. They are not enthused about Petros but they are terrified of Duque being the doorway for Uribe to reignite the paracos full scale.

    From what I have seen out of Petro over the years is two things. He will say anything to get attention, (especially if it will irritate the elites.) In that regard he is a typical politician.

    Second, he recognizes that most of Colombian problems arise out of severe inequality, and is actually willing to try to do something to amend that. I do not care for some of his associations such as Chavez or Maduro, but I think more often than not, he is using that to get attention. It enables him to burnish his image of being concerned for the little man. So he has expressed admiration for those who have expressed similar Ideals. He has never said that he wants to fix inequality by following the exact same path. That is words that others try to put into his mouth.

    But the main thing to recall is that Petro has been a long time crusader against the corrupt and has actively tried to expose and root it out, which was and is furthest from the mind of either Chavez or Maduro, both of whom actively promoted and thrived on corruption. So I have a difficult time seeing that Petro would turn Colombia into Venezuela.

    With Duque we will likely end up with Uribe running the show. I do not think Duque has anywhere near the strength to be his own self, nor does any of the Colombians I have spoken with. Uribe has zero intentions of giving even a mere fleeting thought to Colombian inequality. Money speaks and big money will rule. Uribe went out of his way to make sure that big money could do whatever it wanted via the paracos. Duque’s job as a banker does not give me much hope that he would have any inclination to do anything except favor those with money.

    I am sure Colombia is capable of producing better politicians than either Petro or Duque. The world is not merely black and white. Petro is not a communist or a Chavez. And Duque-Uribe is not the Savior and Redeemer of Colombia.

    Personally I thought Farjado could have becomea better choice, but fate was not to be.

    • You gotta be joking.

      As NET says…and as any idiot should understand…those campaigning on the “anti-corruption” banner are more often than not the most corrupt of all.

      Sure, corruption is rampant in Latin America. It’s fucking ridiculous…time and time and time again. In like every fucking country!

      As a gringo, I will never understand how the people tolerate it. But I guess it’s because the people profit from it, if they’re on the right side of the corruption scale. As an American, it disgusts me.

      I had to pay a $500 U.S. multa to the judge that married my wife and me, because he said my papers weren’t in order. This was 1989, before Chavismo really took hold.

      What papers? We had everything necessary. And my $500 went into his top desk drawer.

      I was irate and ready to kill the fucking guy, but my wife calmed me down and said this is simply how things work here.

      But under Chavismo, it’s even worse now. You have to bribe people just to get hold of your fucking medicine.

    • Second, he recognizes that most of Colombian problems arise out of severe inequality, and is actually willing to try to do something to amend that

      El Finado also expressed concern about inequality. We all know how THAT turned out. In order to distribute more money (reduce inequality), you need to have more money to distribute (a growing economy) , and El Finado did an abysmal job of growing Venezuela’s economy, even with the bonanza of oil export revenue. Colombia has done a MUCH better job of fostering economic growth than Chavista Venezuela.

      In 2001, the year before Uribe was elected, Colombia’s GINI was 57.2. By 2016, Colombia’s GINI fell to 50.8, which indicates decreased inequality.
      During that time, Colombia’s GNI per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $) went from $8,159 to $12,928, an increase of 58.5%.

      From those figures, it appears that the Colombian economy is moving in the right direction, with both good growth and reduced inequality. Seven will get you eleven that Petro will muck up a pretty good situation.

    • Damn, I’m lucky the comments are running out, because here’s a Fajardo-fanboy, and by personal experience, those are even more vexing than the petro-fans.

      ” I do not care for some of his associations such as Chavez or Maduro, but I think more often than not, he is using that to get attention.”

      After reading this, I have only one thing to say to you:


  17. He recognizes that Colombia’s problems arise from severe inequality and is willing to try to do something to amend that”

    That means he believes in the redistribution of wealth so that everyone has the opportunity to be equally poor.

    If Petro were to win (God forbid) then I hope your family in Cesar departameno can get out before it starts to look like Venezuela.
    Good luck to you and your family in Colombia.

    • No, no, no…..I would like for his family and himself to live the consequences of his stupid decisions, just like the chavistas are now receiving a dose of Patria!

    • It’s worse, it’s like a deranged stocklhom syndrome there are tons of relativly sane POSE supporters in Spain, and despite that many statist policies have made Spain a joke of a power it’s a rich, peaceful country. If an
      50 year old Spaniard saw PSOE destroy Spain like Venezuela they would turn on them. At least the many people there would have some sense.

      Not being critical of a chavista ally after they destroyed your country FFS.

  18. FYI: PSUV habría financiado campaña de Petro, según diputado venezolano

    El diputado Rafael Ramírez pidió a la Comisión de Política Exterior de la Asamblea Nacional que investigue si el Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela giró dineros para financiar la campaña del candidato presidencial Gustavo Petro.

    Ramírez denunció el hallazgo de un documento en la sede del PSUV que, al parecer, da pie para pensar en inyecciones de dinero para favorecer tanto a Petro como al candidato presidencial mexicano Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

    Ramírez, conocido en Venezuela por su cercanía a la figura y a las doctrinas del fallecido Hugo Chávez Frías, aseguró que no era la primera vez que sobre el proyecto bolivariano de Venezuela se cernían sospechas por apoyar a políticos extranjeros con afinidades políticas.

    Además, denunció que el gobierno venezolano estaría entregando cédulas colombianas a sus ciudadanos para que participen en las próximas elecciones presidenciales.

    • And I can find you articles that say that in spite of Chavez’s sympathies for Castro, he could never turn Venezuela into Cuba. So, what’s your point?

    • It’s not that he CAN’T, it’s that he WANTS to become a full-fledged communist tyrant EXACTLY like Chávez was, to reduce the country to what Maduro has done with Venezuela, all under the guidance of the cuban tyranny, because chavismo is a LACKEY of the cuban invaders.

    • Despite his sympathies, Petro cannot be a Chavez

      The article quotes Petro:
      “Nosotros somos el socialismo del siglo 21 y lo de chavez es el socialismo del siglo 20 yo no expropio la propiedad de los trabajadores” (“We are 21st century socialism and Chavez is 20th century socialism and I don’t expropriate workers’ property.”

      In his 1998 Presidential campaign, Chávez said he wouldn’t expropriate/nationalize. We all know how THAT worked out.

      You also note that Petro said nothing about keeping his hands off property that didn’t belong to “workers.”

      Petro is telling us that he will do Socialism right. Fidel didn’t do it right, El Finado didn’t do it right, but Petro will do it right. Yeah, right.

  19. To CC Editors: Seriously… what were you thinking when you published this Cuban propaganda? Were you just trying to see if we were awake?

    • I bet they were trying to make someone to puke their dinner on the computer by reading such a pile of disgusting lies and fallacies.

    • Seriously, CC Editors… did you intentionally provide this troll a forum for extreme leftist propaganda? Did you make any attempt to vet this author?

      • There is something the costeños taught me (a person born in Bogota) after all my years in the coast.

        Never trust a Cachaco.

        At least they had some wisdom over there, and seems like Duque is going to crush petro in the coast even though Petro is from Cordoba.

  20. In short, Palau’s article and the comments sound like the frustrated fajardista trying to hide his irrational and completely unfounded hatred for Uribe.

    I bet he’s itching to say the ultimate petrista trump card: “uRibE iS cOloMbiA’s chÁbEzzZZ”

      • But Petro, a member of M-19- an organization with plenty of blood on its hands- gets a clean slate.
        Decime otro de vaquieros.

      • Speaking of “irrational,” how do you reconcile your expressed hatred of the FARC, El Finado’s support of the FARC, with Petro being a big fanboy of El Finado ? Seems there are some circles to square there.

      • Say that to all the victims of the farc whose rights have been trampled by the “complete impunity agreement-fiasco”.

        I know the kind of speech you have, and how the only thing you can resort now is to claim that “Uribe murdered more people than the farc, so we’re better with the farc in power because the farc actually didn’t kill anybody while Uribe killed hundreds of millions with the falsos positivos”

        It’s disgusting because all your reasoning is the product of a fabricated hatred with absolutely no base and you’re willingly let yourself to be used as a tool of those who only seek to destroy the country to benefit a bunch of bloody criminals like petro and the other castrocubans to satisfy an absurd desire for revenge for a grudge that only exists in your head, how pathetic.

      • @Rodrigo Palau I’d be more than willing to tell them that, but alas I am a busy man with cash strapped and no clear knowledge of where “they” are. But if you would kindly help supply finances and directions I would be happy to tell it to them.

        But a few pointers.

        A: It attributes all blame to Uribe’s government. The problem is that this ignores the deeper roots of the problem. Starting with the fact that while I know Narcos is not a great beacon of historical accuracy, it DOES underline the fact that paramilitary violence WELL predated Uribe.

        Los Pepes, anyone?

        And often was carried out by organizations with their own agendas independent of the Colombian government (though often with its tacit acceptance, which is bad enough).

        B: It ignores the fact that not all paramilitary extrajudicial murders were done by Uribe’s government or pro-Uribe forces.


        C: This is a big one. One should be a bit skeptical of accusations against the government because TERRORISTS AND TERROR SUPPORTERS LIE. Seriously.

        This is a revelation that’s come to public quite heavily with things like captured Al Qaeda manuals explicitly TELLING their in to lie and claim mistreatment, and our video footage and translations of Hamas being dishonest about the death tolls.

        Now does that mean I’m saying that each and every person in this expo is a FARC fan or a liar? NO. But it’s a factor that is worth considering.

        Frankly, I have my issues with Uribe’s conduct in the war. Enough to fill a medium sized magazine subscription. And posting “Kill Quotas” remains a SPECTACULARLY bad idea because Perverse Incentives Lead to Perverse Outcomes.

        The concept of people who get rewarded for racing up kill tallies overclaiming or killing civilians to bolster their claims is as old as time. It’s a system rife for abuse and I’m not surprised if the Paramilitaries or the Venezuelan military did so.

        But that doesn’t change the fact that FARC, M-19, and their ilk are totalitarian terrorist groups. The military and paramilitaries may Exploit Colombian law and the government, but these groups were dedicated to completely abolishing it and replacing it with a dictatorship. And in several cases like AUC they helped create the monsters that ravage the country now.

  21. Unbelievable. Petro is almost a perfect replica of Chavez in 1998. Same speeches, same promises, same ideology and a similar history of showing a willingness to gain power with a gun. Chavez promised an end to corruption, a fairer society under the rule of law, a level playing field for businesses and an end to the corrupt revolving-door politics of the established political parties in Venezuela. Sound familiar?

    It took Chavez only 4 years to dismantle constitutional protections sufficiently to control the justice system and the Poder Civil, which set the stage for the glorious successes we have seen in Venezuela.
    Dream on if you believe that the Colombian institutions are better able to protect themselves against a well-planned takeover by the Executive than were the Venezuelan institutions.

    Quite simply, a vote for Petro is a request to re-live the Venezuelan experience in Colombia. Hope you enjoy it.

  22. This page really baffles me sometimes. Between this post and Toro’s post that said nobody voted in the election because no one was voting, I don’t really know what’s happening here.


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