Colombia: heroic leftist president Petro already forced to sell out to the elite – Can People’s Power force Historic Change?

Petro was elected, amazingly, to head a US client corrupt narco state, but the old parties have the majority, so he is trying to carry them with him on a wave of popular demand, for long, long overdue revolutionary reform.

leer en castellano aquí> Gustavo Petro es….

Promises to disband terrorist riot police, make peace with guerilla resistance, cut Deputies exobrbitant salaries, pension reform, limit Oil Exploration, eliminating the EPS, etc are all being placed already in the Sometime/Never category

Petro has also called for organisation of a Popular National Assembly which could exert pressure from street level on the corrupt establishment. Popular power could even overturn the system in favour of a revolutionary Constituent Assembly, as was created in neighbouring Venezuela to counter the elite minority bourgeois parliament

Popular Power movement and General Strike

Historic: Gustavo Petro is the first ever president of the left in Colombia – Will his rule will be an abyss, a change or more of the same?

August 7, 2022 Author: prensabolivariana translation ny thefreeonline summarised and shared with thanks

The new president begins his term in the midst of the expectation of the political turn that occurred in the most recent elections. What awaits the country?

With the arrival of Gustavo Petro to the House of Nariño, the left officially conquers the two highest instances of political power: the Presidency and the Congress of the Republic.

Petro comes to power with a favorable image of over 60 percent; a coalition that, for now, would allow him a good margin of maneuver in the Legislative; an ambitious package of reforms, and the hope of millions of citizens who gave it overwhelming support at the polls.

But the question that many are asking today is whether it will be the change or more of the same.

One of the first bets with which the new government arrives, which causes hope, but at the same time many questions, is the so-called “total peace”, which is nothing more than the submission to justice of all the armed groups illegal.

For this, very surely, it will be necessary to process a new and controversial law tailored to this negotiation.

. “there must be a coordination of the popular world, a Popular National Assembly, that can dialogue with the government that begins tomorrow, because we do not want the government to replace and co-opt the popular movement.”

Linked to this ambitious, complex, but hopeful bet, the new government arrives with an agenda of social reforms that imply changes in labor, pension and economic matters, with which the new president seeks social equity and sustainable economic growth, as well as protect human rights and the environment.

Among this package, the comprehensive rural reform, the environmental protection agenda, the energy transition, the increase in monetary transfers to the vulnerable population and the pension reform stand out.

To leverage this ambitious agenda, in record time, Petro achieved the support of the majority in Congress: the Liberal Party and La U declared themselves in government and the Conservatives, together with Cambio Radical, announced that they would not oppose him.

The inauguration of Gustavo Petro was not only important because it represented the arrival of the first leftist government in Colombian history.

The speech offered by the president also gained great relevance due to its emotional and historical nature, which touched on some of the deepest wounds in the South American country.

The left have NEVER held power. For several centuries all efforts at justice and progress have been stifled, or drowned in blood by the small, elite, colonialist landlord and capitalist class, followed in recent decades by US military and economic colonisation, coopting the elite ruler amid fierce racist repression and environmental devastation.

Enough inequality!

“10% of the Colombian population has 70% of the wealth: it is nonsense and it is true amorality. Let’s not naturalize inequality and poverty.

It is not true that the world is the same. It is not true that in most countries this inequality that we have in Colombia exists.

We are one of the most unequal societies on the entire planet Earth and that is an aberration that we cannot continue if we want to live in peace»

History said we couldn’t rule

“Colombians and Colombians have been, many times in our history, sent to the condemnation of the impossible, to the lack of opportunities, to the resounding no.

I want to tell all Colombian men and women who are listening to me […], that today our second chance begins.

We have earned it. They have earned it. Your effort was and will be worth it. It’s time for change.

Our future is not written. We own the paper and we can write it together in peace and togetherness. Today begins the Colombia of the possible.

We are here against all odds, against a story that said we were never going to govern, against the usual, against those who did not want to let go of power.

But we made it.

We made the impossible possible with work, exploring and listening, with ideas, with love, with our hearts and brains, with effort.

From today we start working to make more impossible things possible in Colombia. If we can, we can.”

In Bogotá during Colombia’s continuing national strike, two women hold placards that say, “We didn’t give birth to children of war” and “They got firearms, we got fire in our soul” / credit: Antonio Cascio

Colombia: Criminal State!

“It is time for a new international convention that accepts that the war on drugs has utterly failed. That has left a million Latin Americans murdered, most of them Colombians, during the last 40 years. And that leaves 70,000 Americans dead from overdoses every year.”


The Historical Pact will have the presidency of the House and Senate at the same time. There are those who already speak of the Petrista ‘roller’.

However, what is for Petro his greatest virtue, having the traditional parties on his side, becomes at the same time his greatest flaw: to achieve change he will need the same political oligarchy as always.

To reach the Presidency, from the same campaign, Petro had to surround himself with the traditional political class. Leaders like Roy Barreras, Alfonso Prada, among others, who were previously criticized for Petrismo, became key figures in the campaign and now in the government.

In fact, both Barreras and Prada have largely assumed the role of spokespersons in the face of the silence that Petro has maintained . In other words, the new head of state will have to govern alongside them, if he does not want to endanger his promises of change.

Silhouette of a woman in front of a fire on the streets of Bogotá during Colombia’s national strike / credit: Antonio Cascio

In this way, the traditional political forces let Petro know that they were not happy with the little bureaucratic game he had given them in the cabinet. Without a doubt, it is a first warning.

Resistant to change

This resistance to change, now that they are in power, seems to exist also in the center-left sectors, which are the base of President Petro’s political strength.

Congressmen from the Historical Pact and the Green Alliance arrived at the Capitol with the promise of reducing the broad privileges that congressmen enjoy today, such as lowering their salaries, cutting their vacations, and tightening the system of loss of investiture due to non-attendance .

However, now that they have the majority and the government on their side, they announced that they would lower their salary via constitutional reform but that this modification will only apply from 2026, that is, it will not affect them.

In addition, for the Historical Pact, the political strength of the new president, being the government, seems to be becoming a ‘hot potato’ and has begun to enter into internal fights for power, just as traditional parties do.

The formation of the boards of directors, the election of the comptroller and the bid for the cabinet have caused the Historical Pact to begin to publicly wash its dirty linen.

An Afro-Colombian woman standing on the first line during a demonstration in Bogotá held during Colombia’s national strike / credit: Antonio Cascio

In addition, among the committed Petrismo there is also discomfort for the photos that Petro has taken with the political establishment and the concessions that he has begun to make, and that he would have to continue making, to the traditional parties.

And it bothers them that the new president, at the request of parties such as the Liberal and the Conservative, has had to begin to back down on central proposals of his campaign, such as eliminating the EPS. A reform in this sense seemed imminent, but the subject, at least for now, was postponed.

The same thing happened with the reform of the Attorney General’s Office and the elimination of the ‘terrorist’ police Esmad, matters that, also for now, according to the announcements, will have to wait.

‘Gay on the Front Line’

Added to this is the position of the Finance Minister appointed by Petro, José Antonio Ocampo, who said that the pension reform “is not a priority in the short term.”

An issue in which there is expectation, since the new head of state has not provided clarity, is the announcement to cut oil exploration altogether. Experts have warned of the inconvenience of making a decision of this magnitude at this time, when the country faces a large fiscal gap and the entry of foreign investment is needed to appease the soaring dollar.

For now, the legislative priorities of the new government will be tax reform, political reform and rural reform, issues that are generally raised by governments as soon as they come to power.

What does seem to be a coming big change is in the role of the Armed Forces. Military and police sectors are on the lookout due to Velásquez’s strong criticism in the past and his support for the Truth Commission’s report, which many in the forces consider unfair and biased.

We’ll believe it when we see it.

Gustavo Petro starts his government not only with the responsibility for his management but also for the future of the left itself.

Bad management will cause the pendulum to swing back to the other side of the political spectrum in four years. To achieve change you need the same as always. how long can he survive and where will the president yield?

A group of protesters from the first line stand behind their homemade shields during a Bogotá demonstration as Colombia’s national strike continues. Among them, the “First Line Mothers,” a group of mothers who stand together against police violence / credit Antonio Cascio

On the other hand there is the popular power that held a minths long General Strike only last year, and could be mobilised as Petro’s promises are seen to hit the brick wall of centuries of cruel neo-colonial repression.

Petro has also called for a Popular National Assembly which could exert pressure from street level on the corrupt establishment. Popular power could even overturn the system in favour of a revolutionary Constituent Assembly, as was created in neighbouring Venezuela to counter the elite minority bourgeois parliament


The Promises of Petro
  1. The transformation of the conditions of women and the LGBTIQ+ population, so that they enjoy their political rights and autonomy in Colombia.
  2. Transform the policies of use and care of the national and environmental heritage, to guarantee the life of living beings in nature, as well as lead the fight and unity of the ‘Abya Yala’ against to confront the destruction of nature.
  3. Solution of drugs under the agreement of the communities, with the purpose of breaking the chains of illicit use of drug trafficking.
  4. Dismantle all free trade agreements, with the aim of overcoming capitalism in all its versions.
translation google..#AsambleaNacionalPopular | This June 6, 7 and 8 in Bogotá, in the Claretian school of Bosa we do not see what is built on the streets and highways, in community pots and front lines. The commitment belongs to all the organizers.
  1. Enforce the Constitution under the premise that everyone is equal and has the right to education, health, housing, work and sports, to live in dignity.
  2. Build binding participation mechanisms with indigenous communities, through the development plan and constant dialogues in the different regions of the country.
  3. Guarantee the human rights of indigenous, ethnic and Afro communities, under self-protection mechanisms guaranteed by the State.
  4. Construction of “total peace” with social justice, overcoming the causes of all the armed conflicts that are experienced in Colombia.
  5. Eliminate the State forces that violate the people, such as Esmad.
  6. Defend the life of all Colombians.


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Author: thefreeonline

The Free is a book and a blog. Download free E/book ...”the most detailed fictional treatment of the movement from a world recognizably like our own to an anarchist society that I have read...

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