By Misión Verdad – May 25, 2023
Following her tour in Africa, the vice president of Colombia, Francia Márquez, publicly thanked tycoon George Soros’ Open Society Foundations for the funding and logistical support of her high-level diplomatic visit to South Africa, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Over the last few days, controversy has grown around Márquez’s remarks, which, in the Colombian political storm, have been seized upon by the opposition to Gustavo Petro’s government; it is unusual, even in Colombia, for a financial speculator to be directly involved in the diplomatic issues of a government.
Colombian media reports claim that Soros’ foundation provided around $60,000 for Márquez’s tour. The vice president confirmed that this money was earmarked for the delegation accompanying her during the trip, which consisted of 26 members of “civil society,” including artists, social leaders, and academics.
Márquez emphasized that the money was used exclusively for the living expenses of the large delegation that accompanied her, and not for her own travel expenses. However, the fact remains that for a couple of decades now, she has been in the financial orbit of the worlds of various private institutional organisations, either holding ideological affinity or directly associated with the foundation of the Hungarian-born mega-speculator Soros, in the form of prizes, scholarships, and other incentives.
Gracias a @OpenSociety por su apoyo financiero y logístico a nuestra visita de alto nivel a Sudáfrica, Kenia y Etiopía. Reconocemos su aporte al fortalecimiento de las democracias en América latina y el Caribe y al papel de las comunidades étnicas frente a la crisis climática.
— Francia Márquez Mina (@FranciaMarquezM) May 20, 2023
In 2015, Francia Márquez received the National Award for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia, granted by Diakonia, an organization of the Swedish State and the Church of Sweden. The Church of Sweden is part of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, a network of liberal-progressive Christian entities, or “inclusive churches,” and has received funding from the Open Society, among other public and private institutions.
Perhaps the most significant distinction won by Márquez is the Goldman Prize in 2018, better known as “the environmental Nobel,” awarded by the billionaire Goldman family, proxy of insurance companies and the manufacturer of Levi Strauss clothing. Members of this family are in US politics (Congress, governorships, the White House), and the current president of the group, John D. Goldman, was part of Barack Obama’s government during his second term.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the UK state-funded media network, named Márquez as one of the 100 most influential women in the world in 2019, a distinction also received by María Corina Machado (Venezuelan extreme-right politician), Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (Belarusian political leader and opponent of the Lukashenko administration), and several other women leaders from different fields whose profile the British government is happy to raise, ensuring that they ignore other distinguished women who are not aligned to the US-European orbit of influence.
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Francia Márquez got work as a consultant—in 2020, the same year she graduated as a lawyer—for the USAID-funded project Construction for Prevention and Self-Care of the Association of Community Councils of Northern Cauca. The USAID Human Rights Program provided a platform to the Colombian activist to amplify her social objectives, which coincided with the objectives of USAID.
It is true that her association with the US foreign interference entity ended in 2020; however, her government is subject to the agreements that USAID has with a number of social programs of the Colombian State. In Colombia, USAID claims to promote economic programs in the agricultural sector and human rights, maintain a pro-Afro and pro-indigenous agenda, and uphold the fight against climate change and biodiversity; all of which are issues shared politically and ideologically by the current Colombian vice president and, of course, President Gustavo Petro.
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Márquez, in her Twitter tale, recognized the “contribution” of Open Society “to the strengthening of democracies in Latin America and the Caribbean” and “the role of ethnic communities combating the climate crisis.” Later, in a press conference on Wednesday, May 24, she said, “Open Society, like many of the agencies that work in our country, has a cooperation agenda [with our government] in terms of racial justice, and decided to support the vice president’s proposal of facilitating the conditions of mobility for artists, social leaders, and civil society, given the internal displacement due to land disputes.”
“Por estar en territorios enmarcados en el conflicto armado, a las comunidades nos estigmatizan y eso también nos cuesta la vida”: Francia Márquez, lideresa en panel “Innovación para la protección de los lideres sociales”, en #CPCo2019 #ProtegeALosLideresSociales pic.twitter.com/dkViUk5sVm
— USAID/Colombia (@USAID_Colombia) June 20, 2019
Márquez was asked about the conditions that Soros’ foundation demands for the logistical and financial support provided to her agenda in Africa. “What are they asking me in return? To continue what we are doing,” she responded, “[which is] a policy that contributes to peace and racial justice in this country; and for us to go on fulfilling the promises that the president and I made in our campaign.”
Translation: Márquez’s interests are Open Society’s interests.
The Open Society has its second largest office in Colombia, behind only Brazil. Its latest audit dates from 2021, when it reported on its activities in Colombia: its interests are in the areas of health (COVID-19 pandemic), agriculture, domestic work, racial justice programs, Venezuelan migration, social-armed conflict, climate change, and ecological activism. The foundation invested $15.6 million in Colombia in 2021.
In Colombia, some of the aforementioned topics are ignored by most establishment political parties, and are promoted by various organizations (some of which supported Petro and Márquez during last year’s presidential election campaign). The current administration of Colombia is committed to an agenda that combines the typical factors of contemporary progressivism with a political and ideological cut very similar to that proposed by the US Democratic Party and European social-democratic parties, who propose reforms (neither structural nor systemic) in the purposefully vague fields of the so-called ethnic and cultural minorities, human rights, and the “green economy.”
Hoy, más que nunca, urge desarrollar un componente de apoyo social para pueblos indígenas y afro, que siguen sufriendo de manera indiscriminada el conflicto armado, así se lo expresé a Directora de @USAID, @SamanthaJPower. ¡Necesitamos desarrollo y bienestar para las comunidades! pic.twitter.com/RUwtKsQHU5
— Francia Márquez Mina (@FranciaMarquezM) August 8, 2022
Petro’s life was characterized by the M-19 armed movement in his youth, and thereafter by a successful political career. Márquez’s political career has barely started; however, her trajectory as a social and ecological activist in northern Cauca elevated her profile, leading to awards and ties with institutions well inserted in the governmental dynamics of Colombia. Before both personalities took on greater political prominence, their trajectories had nothing to do with these organizations; or, at least, there was no public evidence of it.
Taking into account Colombia’s close association with the United States, and the remarkable affinity between US President Joe Biden and Gustavo Petro, it is plausible that the political objectives of the current Colombian government overlap with the agenda of the USAID (currently managed by a US Democrat), Open Society, and other institutions that drink from the Davos (an alternative term for the World Economic Forum) fountainhead.
The Colombian president himself participated in Davos this year, advocating for “energy transition” towards the “green economy,” a flagship approach of the World Economic Forum, a platform that brings together the business and political elites of North America, Europe, and their partners in all corners of the planet. It is this same Western corporate crème de la crème that directs this “transition” that allegedly chooses ecology and economics as saviour mechanisms against the catastrophes that the capitalist system itself produces and reproduces. No change is proposed in the production model, only in vague terms of the management of the resources of the prevailing system.
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Since at least 2010, Soros has been at the forefront of ecological plans made by the world of finance. In a report published in March 2022, the Soros Fund Management LLC explained its “Climate Action Strategy”: among its proposed measures is to reduce investments in its corporate portfolio that contribute to an increased carbon footprint. The declared aim is to “eliminate exposure to fossil fuels,” as preached by Petro’s government program, which has put an end to oil exploration and new drilling in Colombia.
It is worth noting that, during her tour in the African continent, Márquez signed a total of 17 cooperation documents: eight in South Africa, seven in Kenya, and two in Ethiopia, consisting of memorandums of understanding and letters of intent. In addition, the vice president reported that Colombia joins Kenya, France, and Barbados to work on a new financial architecture, to achieve progress in the mechanisms of “debt for climate action swaps and in the reform of the international financial architecture;” a modality in tune with Soros’ financial engineering, in light of the “energy transition.”
Thus, it becomes evident that there is a political, ideological, and financial nexus between the current government of Colombia and the corporate brokerage of Davos, with the Open Society as a protagonist of the moment, facilitated through the office of the vice president. This nexus is carrying out the work of Petro’s government, infiltrated to the bone of its structure by the mechanisms of private global and US institutions oriented towards interference and plundering in sovereign countries. So, who does Francia Márquez work for?
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
Misión Verdad is a Venezuelan investigative journalism website with a socialist perspective in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution
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