Last month, Colombians elected a former far-left terrorist as their new president.
Gustavo Petro, a Marxist ideologue who was part of the guerrilla organization M-19, is the latest in a growing list of far-left leaders who won elections in South America. He is expected to take office on August 7.
Colombia has traditionally been a strong ally and friend of the United States, so this is a devastating setback for the advancement of freedom in Colombia and other nations in the region. But the real beneficiary is the Chinese Communist Party, with the ever-increasing threat it poses to the US.
In a recent episode of the “Heritage Explains” podcast, the journalist Mike Gonzalez discussed how the “Marxist hurricane” blowing through South America has already affected Chile, Argentina, Honduras, Peru and Colombia, with Ecuador and Brazil potentially following suit. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Gonzalez talks about how this is a Marxist plan, in which Marxists infiltrate institutions to change the culture, and how it is being carried out and supported by Venezuela and its patron communist regime in Cuba.
“He understands the nature of culture, where you have to first take over the cultural institutions before taking over the economy and the country. … situation is dire,” Gonzalez said.
This increasingly dire situation gets more complicated when you see that it opens the door further for the Chinese Communist Party to increase its presence in the Hemisphere. Occidental.
We already know that China has been making incredible financial commitments in Colombia, including winning the bid for the construction of the subway in Bogotá and in other South American countries. Currently, Colombia is not part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, unlike other Latin American and Caribbean countries, but that could change.
Through these projects, China invests billions of dollars in infrastructure projects globally. These projects result in greater Chinese influence and greater access to ports and natural resources, and help shape Beijing’s global image.
Our colleagues at Heritage write: “China is steadily increasing its political and economic influence in Colombia to complement its presence in Venezuela. China will now exert influence over critical infrastructure in Colombia’s capital and largest city.”
In addition, China’s trade relationship continues to grow in the Latin American region. In 450, trade with China totaled US$ 450 billion, and economists predict that number will grow to $700 billion by 2035.
But even more concerning is the growing Chinese military threat in our own backyard.
According to a recent report , Venezuela will receive China, Iran and Russia for a joint military operation called Sniper Frontier in August, with the aim of deploying advanced military assets in Latin America. This will be the first time these powers will carry out military operations in the Western Hemisphere.
This is not the first time that China and other evil powers have partnered with the Venezuelan military. We know that in addition to military collaboration, China provided anti-ship missiles, K-8 fighter jets and People’s Liberation Army satellite tracking to a military air base.
While Gonzalez is concerned about the proximity of these exercises to the United States, he is even more concerned about the Biden administration’s weak response and whether he has a plan to combat the growing Marxist threat, most recently displayed in Colombia.
“Unlike [ex-presidente Ronald] Reagan, who came to the aid of democracies in Latin America when they were similarly threatened by communists, [o presidente Joe] Biden is unlikely to do anything,” Gonzalez said. .
This concern is reflected in Biden’s calming response to Petro’s victory. Although current Colombian President Ivan Duque took months to receive a call from Biden, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro did not speak to Biden for more than a year until he threatened to boycott the Summit of the Americas, Biden called Petro in less than a day. after his victory.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said in response:
“ On behalf of the United States, I congratulate the people of Colombia for making their voices heard in a free and fair presidential election. We commend the many officials, civil servants and volunteers whose dedication made these elections possible. “
As the recent election in Colombia is another warning sign that the “Marxist hurricane” in South America South is becoming stronger and stronger, we can see that the Chinese Communist Party and its threat to freedom keep expanding further and further into the United States.
Let’s hope that the leaders ers in Washington find the courage and strength to fight this threat with a real plan, before it’s too late.
Timothy Doescher is Associate Director at the Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Economic Freedom.
Luke Posegate is a member of the Young Leaders Program at Heritage Foundation.
©2022 The Daily Signal. Published with permission. Original in English.