On November 16, El American exclusively published a video of Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) questioning Brian Nichols, in charge of the Western Hemisphere within the State Department, about Gustavo Petro, a Colombian senator and current presidential candidate in the South American country.
Salazar explained to Nichols that Juan Gonzalez, the U.S. National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere, said that President Joe Biden “has no idea who Gustavo Petro is.” The Cuban-American representative, in a critical tone and with concern, began to explain that the presidential candidate is “a thief, a socialist, a Marxist, a terrorist. And he is leading the polls for president in Colombia.”
The harsh words of the GOP congresswoman did not go down well with former guerrilla and now senator Gustavo Petro, who spoke out on his Twitter account against Salazar asking for “respect” and suggesting, without evidence, that former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez is intervening the American government through María Elvira Salazar.
“Uribe illegally intervened in the United States to elect this congresswoman and now she intervenes in the decision of the Colombian citizens,” Petro accused in his publication. “I am a senator of the Republic of Colombia, thanks to the vote of eight million citizens. Respect!”
Gustavo Petro says Salazar is encouraging his assassination
Petro, who dodged Salazar’s accusations, not only published his reaction on Twitter, but also spoke out against the congresswoman in the Colombian Senate, assuring that Salazar’s statements, published in El American, are “preparing” the ground for his “assassination.”
Referring to the congresswoman’s words, the Colombian said: “Isn’t that kind of statement, which reaches the public opinion, preparing my assassination? If what is said about me (…) is that I am a thief and a terrorist, when what I am is a senator of the Republic, isn’t a systematic assassination in Colombia, including mine, being encouraged?”
Who is Gustavo Petro and why is he causing concern to María Elvira Salazar?
According to a Reuters profile, Gustavo Petro is a “progressive ex-guerrilla” who was a member of the bloody guerrilla group Movimiento 19 de Abril, which emerged in Colombia in the 1970s.
Petro has been accused by his critics for proposing a government program very similar to the Venezuelan socialist regime, once led by the late Hugo Chávez and now controlled by dictator Nicolás Maduro.
Petro was a militant in the M-19 guerrilla, author of the seizure of the Palace of Justice in Colombia, a terrorist act in which more than 100 people died. Petro has referred to the event as a ” brilliant.”
The senator and presidential candidate, who has consistently denied his ties with the Venezuelan regime, was recently accused by former Venezuelan intelligence chief Hugo Carvajal of receiving illicit financing from the Chavista dictatorship.
After Petro accused María Elvira Salazar before the Colombian Senate, the representative responded to the former guerrilla through her Twitter account. “The evidence is overwhelming against you, gentleman,” the Republican wrote. “Marxist: Member of the Communist Youth Terrorist: Commander Andres of the M-19. Thief: Prisoner 16 months for arms theft in 1985. Socialist: 21st Century Socialism for Colombia. I forgot! Admirer of Fidel, Hugo and Daniel.”