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Colombia’s former President Duque warns cocaine legalization will motive ‘primary’ US safety risk

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Colombia’s former President Ivan Duque warned that his successor’s calls to modify path at the battle on medication would flip Colombia right into a “narco state” that might threaten the safety of the USA and different nations “within the hemisphere.” 

“Now, what worries me is that there’s now the opportunity of entering the permission, or the legalization of cocaine and intake,” Duque, who were in New York to wait the Concordia Summit, advised Fox Information Virtual. “I believe that it’ll be very unhealthy for Colombia and that can be very unhealthy for the nations within the hemisphere, and I believe that might generate additionally a big safety risk to the USA.”

Duque, who left place of business in August, persevered: “So certainly not I am in want of the legalization of the cocaine industry … However I even have to mention it, Colombia can’t turn out to be a narco state. I believe the arena now has unified in the concept that of prohibition, and I believe if only one nation, shall we say Colombia, comes to a decision to legalize cocaine, it’s going to flip itself right into a narco state.”  

Against this, Duque cited his management’s “holitic means” to the demanding situations of unlawful medication, from the best possible drug seizures ever, to extradition, to well being care insurance policies to regard addicts.  He additional known as on extra being accomplished to curb call for “within the nations the place the intake of the sport has spiked.” 

The birthday celebration of present President Gustavo Petro has regarded as the theory of legalizing medication as an effort to shift clear of what some name the “irrational” battle on medication. Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president and a former guerilla chief, known as for a “new global conference” throughout his inaugural speech, claiming “the battle on medication has failed.” 

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Consistent with an Workplace of Nationwide Drug Keep an eye on Coverage estimate, Colombia in 2020 was once the arena’s main manufacturer of cocaine, cultivating greater than the 2 closest international locations, Peru and Bolivia, mixed. 

Colombia’s former President Ivan Duque talks throughout a gathering with mayors and governors in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. 
(AP Picture/Ivan Valencia)

All through his cope with to the United Countries Normal Meeting, Petro mentioned “The battle on medication has failed.” 

“What’s extra toxic for humanity, cocaine, coal or oil?” Petro mentioned. “The opinion of energy has ordered that cocaine is poison and should be persecuted, whilst it most effective reasons minimum deaths from overdoses…however as a substitute, coal and oil should be secure, even if it might probably extinguish all humanity.”

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President Duque additionally addressed border safety and the disaster at the U.S. southern border. He mentioned one method to lend a hand remedy it will be to convey better investments to the Americas. “Bringing the ones investments right here will create jobs, will create alternative, will create aggregated worth chains and I believe that might disincentivize the power at the southern border of the USA.”

He famous that the point of interest on local weather alternate as a big factor implies that Colombia should adapt or endure within the long-term. He defined that 40% of Colombia’s exports come from oil and fuel, with a lot of the nationwide benefit derived from taxation of and international funding in that sector. 

He insisted that Colombia could be a chief in pursuing selection fuels, however that the problem is “now not an issue of black and white.” 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro

Russian President Vladimir Putin, proper, shakes arms along with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro
(MAXIM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Pictures)

“There is a transition occurring and Colombia can flip itself within the subsequent decade into an exporter of inexperienced hydrogen, however to this point, we want to stay the stability of doing a excellent task relating to oil and fuel in relation to exports on manufacturing,” Duque argued. “On the similar time, we want to stay on increasing on non-conventional renewable energies.”

“I believe we need to proceed changing into leaders within the power transition with non-conventional renewable energies, however we want to stay … the normal power that may be a supply of investment for the social systems that we have got in Colombia,” he mentioned. 

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Oil additionally supplies Venezuela with energy and wealth, which it makes use of to construct ties to international locations akin to Russia and Iran. Duque warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Venezuela as a “mechanism to destabilize the Western Hemisphere,” with Putin having mentioned he additionally sees Colombia as “a long term strategic spouse.” 

“I condemned it when I used to be president. And we additionally expelled spies, Russian spies from the Colombian territory, and I believe we want to stay on demonstrating [to] the arena of that pastime that Russia has in Venezuela,” Duque mentioned. 

“I believe at this day and age, the entire Western Hemisphere nations want to reject that aim of Vladimir Putin to bringing to the Western Hemisphere a capability to destabilize,” he persevered. “We’ve observed how they’ve attempted to get enthusiastic about elections and destabilize elections and affect elections by way of the manipulation of algorithms with native media and in addition by way of espionage.”

“So I’ve been transparent, and I will say it once more, that aim of Russia, of the use of Venezuela as … the purpose of front to check out to destabilize the area must be very obviously denounced, and [Putin] has to obtain additionally a message that he can’t mess with the Western democracies.”  Duque often known as for Putin being “attempted by way of the World Legal Court docket” for his movements involving Ukraine. 

Former President Duque additionally mentioned new tasks that he’s overseeing since leaving place of business. One such challenge he mentioned was once to lend a hand revive the Amazon in a challenge referred to as the Amazon Initiative which is a method to revive and maintain the world. 

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All through the interview Duque additionally mentioned the affect China performs at the continent, the attraction of leftism in Latin The us, pro-market financial reforms, the battle in Ukraine, and the Nationwide Liberation Military, a delegated international 15 may organization by way of the U.S. Division of State. 

Fox Information’ Andrew Murray contributed to this document.

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