Former Colombian President Duque has warned that legalizing cocaine would cause a ‘great risk’ to US security
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Former Colombian President Ivan Duque warned that the successor’s calls to change the direction of the war against drugs will turn Colombia into a “narcotic state” that could threaten the security of the United States and other countries in the “hemisphere”.
“Now, what worries me is that now there is the possibility of entering into the authorization, or the legalization of cocaine and its use,” Duque, who was in New York to attend the Concordia Conference, told Fox News Digital. “I think it’s going to be very bad for Colombia and it’s going to be very bad for countries in the Arctic, and I think it could also pose a big security threat to the United States.”
Duque, who left office in August, continued: “So it does not mean that I support the legalization of the cocaine trade … But I also have to say, Colombia cannot be a narco-state. I think that the world now has a United the idea of prohibition, and I think if one country, let’s say Colombia, decides to legalize cocaine, it will turn into a narcotic situation.”
In contrast, Duque cited his administration’s “general approach” to the challenges of illegal drugs, from the highest ever seizures, to the reversion, of health care policies to treat addicts. He called for more to be done to curb demand “in countries where game consumption is high.”
A bill introduced by the current administration of Gustavo Petro to legalize recreational marijuana reflects an effort to end what he calls the “unnecessary war on drugs.” Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president and former rebel leader, called for a “new international agreement” during his inaugural speech, claiming “the drug war has failed.”
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According to the estimates of the National Drug Control Policy, Colombia in 2020 was the world’s leading producer of cocaine, growing more than the two closest countries, Peru and Bolivia, combined.
During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Petro once again said “The war against drugs has failed.”
“Which is more toxic to humanity, cocaine, coal or oil?” Peter said. “Ideology of power has decreed that cocaine is poisonous and must be persecuted, while it only causes minimal death in overdose … but instead, coal and oil must be protected, even when they can destroy all humanity.”
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President Duque also talked about border security and the tension on the southern border of the United States. He said one way to solve it is to bring more investment to America. “Bringing those investments here is going to create jobs, it’s going to create opportunity, it’s going to create integrated value chains, and I think that could alleviate pressure on the southern border of the United States.”
He noted that the focus on climate change is a major issue that means Colombia must adapt or suffer in the long term. He explained that 40% of Colombia’s exports come from oil and gas, with most of the nation’s profits coming from taxes and foreign investment in that sector.
He insisted that Colombia could be a leader in the search for alternative oil, but the issue “is not a black and white issue”.
“There is an ongoing change and Colombia can turn in the next ten years into a green hydrogen exporter, but until now, we need to maintain a good work balance when it comes to oil and gas compared to the export of production. ” he said. argued Duque. “At the same time, we need to continue to expand our renewable energy base.”
“I think we can continue to be the leaders of the energy transition with extraordinary renewable energy, but we need to continue… conventional energy as a source of finance for the social programs we have in Colombia,” he said.
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Oil also gives Venezuela power and wealth, which it uses to build relationships with countries such as Russia and Iran. Duque warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Venezuela as “a tool to destabilize the Western Hemisphere,” while Putin said he also sees Colombia as a “future strategic partner.”
“I condemned it when I was president, we also removed spies, Russian spies from Colombia, and I think we need to continue to show it. [to] Russia’s interests in Venezuela,” said Duque.
“I think that at the moment, all the countries of the Western Hemisphere need to reject Vladimir Putin’s intention to bring the Western Hemisphere to power to stabilize it,” he continued. “We saw how they tried to get involved in the elections and disrupt the elections and influence the elections through the use of local media algorithms as well as espionage.”
“So I made it clear, and I can say it again, the intention of Russia, to use Venezuela… [Putin] he must get the message that he cannot destabilize Western democracies.” Duque also called for Putin to be “tried by the International Criminal Court” for his actions involving Ukraine.
The former president also talked about new projects that he has in hand since he left office. One such project, he said, is helping to revive the Amazon through a project called the Amazon Initiative, which is a way to revitalize and sustain the area.
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During the interview, Duque also spoke about China’s influence on the continent, the appeal of the left in Latin America, the reform of the market economy, the war in Ukraine, and the National Liberation Army, a foreign terrorist organization it has designated. US Department of State. .
NOTE: This report has been updated to clarify the approach of Colombian lawmakers in relation to the country’s drug policies.
Fox News’ Andrew Murray contributed to this report.
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