Colombia saw the birth of one of the greatest names in Latin American literature, Gabriel García Márquez, who with a peculiar narrative style named “magical realism”, showed us areas of the material and subjective reality of an entire continent.
Today Colombia, in whose circles of power the great writer is sometimes forgotten, is showing an extraordinary way to direct its foreign policy, as if the current government were trying to emulate the Nobel Prize of Literature and deliver the raw material for a future novel where magic is the only source that explains reality.
In just one year of government, President Iván Duque and his team have shown a unique talent. Let us give three examples of the narrative efforts of the president to reach basic standards of credibility in his government “noveleta” (1).
After deciding that Colombia would lead the fight for freedom in the region, the president invented an invasion of food into Venezuela enlivened by a concert. With nostalgia for the cold war, he compared the moment with the fall of the Berlin wall. But nothing fell this time.
Before that, he received a Venezuelan politician who was appointed himself president, named Juan Guaidó, with a disheveled face and poor oratory, who arrived on Colombian soil with the help of renowned murderers, drug traffickers and paramilitaries.
After evidencing with images Guaidó’s links with criminals, Duque immediately launched more presidential words for posterity: “Guaidó is a titan, he is a hero”.
It was never known if he said it because Guaidó facilitated the arrest of the aforementioned paramilitaries, or because he survived among them.
After such a chapter, another more incredible one began to be narrated. After years of help from Cuba to achieve peace in Colombia, being, at the request of the parties, the guarantor country and headquarters of dialogues between the Colombian government and the FARC and ELN guerrillas, President Duque, in an outburst of extreme nationalism and looking at the polls, decided to demand that Havana immediately return the ELN delegates to prosecute them for the attack attributed to this organization which resulted in 22 victims in a cadets’ school.
The moral stature of the Colombian government prevented them, they said, from accepting the Negotiation End Protocols that are agreed upon at any peace dialogue table, and that in this case the previous government and the ELN signed with the guarantors (Cuba among them).
Duque and his spokesmen reiterated that this Protocol had been signed by the previous government of Juan Manuel Santos, so it was not mandatory. However, they require Cuba to violate its guarantor status and international law and to comply with an extradition agreement signed between the governments of both countries in 1932.
As if this plot of inconsistencies was not enough, the chapter that could crown this story came, although President Duque has more than two years left to build his path to immortality.
A Colombian senator was arrested and convicted of corruption. The crime was so noticeable that it was impossible not to arrest her. But so much information and friends has the senator, that she managed to escape through a window of a dental office and leave, as in the western movies, on a fast food delivery motorcycle.
When the senator and her televised escape were no longer news in Colombia, since it was not necessary to disturb the open wound for institutional decorum, it was known by Venezuelan institutional sources that the fugitive had been captured in Venezuela. What the experienced Colombian military and justice institutions could not do, the attacked Maduro government did.
As Duque’s government recognizes Guaidó as president and does not recognize the worker president Nicolás Maduro, the extradition request has just been made to the ethereal, magical office of the self-proclaimed Guaidó. This was confirmed by the very chancellor, Claudia Blum, from Bogotá.
This hilarious stance totally discredits Colombian diplomacy, leaving it much more nauseating than in the case with Cuba. Not even the pruritus of standing firm on a stolid decision – not recognizing Maduro – justifies such a decision.
What does explain such diplomatic stupidity is that it is convenient for more than one Colombian politician that fugitive senator Aida Merlano be well away from Bogotá.
Today, in the land where Gabriel García Márquez was born, many wonder if the Palace of San Carlos is a Foreign Ministry or a center that promotes magical realism.
(1) “Noveleta” is a narrative of lesser length than that of a novel with less development of the plot and characters,
Translated by JRE