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More than a hundred people responded this Sunday in Miami, Florida to the call “America in Democracy,” to ask Colombians to vote massively in the presidential elections of next May 29 and to do so for the former mayor of Medellín Federico “Fico” Gutierrez.
Colombian-born businessman Fabio Andrade, one of the speakers at the event that brought together Colombians, Cubans, and Nicaraguans from South Florida, asked Colombians living in Miami to go out and vote for “Fico,” the candidate of the right-wing coalition Equipo por Colombia.
Several caravans that departed from distant places such as Weston, in northwest Miami, and Kendall, in the south, converged this afternoon at the Cuban Memorial, an obelisk located in the vicinity of Florida International University (FIU).
According to the call, the purpose was to ask Colombians to vote en masse in the presidential elections in order to prevent their country from becoming another Cuba, Nicaragua, or Venezuela, according to organizers.
“America in Democracy” had the support of exile leaders from these three countries who at a recent press conference said that “if Colombia falls it will be a blow to the entire hemisphere,” as Orlando Gutierrez of the Cuban Resistance Assembly put it.
Andrade, a community activist and executive aviation consultant, reminded Colombians in Miami that from May 23 to 29 they can vote at the Colombian Consulate General, where 110,000 voters are registered, and said he was sure that at least 100,000 “will vote well.”
Andrade told EFE last Wednesday that his great fear is that there will be “fraud” in these elections, because “the institutions are taken over, all the drug money is against Colombia’s democracy and law and order.”
According to Andrade, 7% of the votes cast in the March 13 legislative elections were “fraudulent”, which is why, he stressed, it is so important that the voting and counting be “transparent.”
Some participants wore clothes allusive to Colombia, with the predominant colors blue and yellow, and carried banners and other elements such as hats to express their feelings for the coffee nation.
The slogan “Yo me identiFico presidente” could be read on several t-shirts.
According to the latest Yanhass poll conducted for the Colombian channel RCN, the leftist Gustavo Petro leads his rival, Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez, with 40% voting intentions, who has 21%.
In a second round to be held on June 19, since according to these results no one would obtain 50% in the first round, Petro, who was mayor of Bogotá, would win the Presidency with 47% of the votes, while “Fico” would obtain 34%.