Leer en Español
María Fernanda Cabal is, without a doubt, the strongest voice that Colombian conservatism has. That is authentic conservatives: those who defend the free-market economics, opposes negotiations with the left, and genuinely embraces conservative ideas. She is a Colombian senator for the pro-Uribe party Centro Democrática, a political scientist, and a first-class debater because she is not afraid to say what others, timider, are ashamed to say.
Cabal sat down with El American to talk about a variety of issues, the most obvious one being Colombia. In the interview, she offers her diagnosis of the reality that the Latin American, American, and global right is going through and of the challenges and traumas it has.
“The right has become cowardly,” she says. “The right, or what is presumed to be conservative, ends up emboldening the extreme left.”
Cabal is not afraid to criticize her own party and the government of Iván Duque. She recognizes the mistakes of the political project she also represents and of the president she supports.
“You were not elected to please your detractors and adversaries. You were elected because a majority believed in your campaign proposals. Now, what happened to Duque? He ended up not picking up President Uribe’s legacy on key issues.”
“This government, as well as many others in Latin America, lacked the forcefulness we wanted”, insists María Fernanda Cabal. “It failed to open the floodgate for the economy to move and I resent very much that this government has not reduced the size of the state.”
“The fiscal burden is paid by the poor who pay taxes in this country,” she continued. “The business people are paying up to the neck, and the unemployed who are living in poverty.”
Former President Álvaro Uribe, who remains the most important figure on the Colombian right-wing, has long embraced proposals that could be described as socialist. Cabal recognizes and criticizes them. “I see a President Uribe anxious to give a break to the popular class and the middle class.”
“I see President Uribe more with the need to protect Colombians than to turn the state into a socialist one, but the limits between his desire to protect and a socialist policy, end up diluted,” she explains. “We need to open the economy. Instead of subsidizing everything, we must encourage the generation of wealth”.
In just over a year Colombia will have presidential elections. Given the polarization, the state in which Uribism finds itself, and the survival of the political project of the extreme left with Gustavo Petro, there is a real possibility of dark times ahead. These could be the most important elections for Colombia in years.
Although the Democratic Center seems to have a disturbing leadership crisis, Cabal insists that their candidate in the 2022 election must be the party’s 2014 nominee Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who ended up losing that election to Juan Manuel Santos in a poll that has since been tarnished by well-documented allegations of vote-buying fraud.
In the face of Joe Biden’s government, María Fernanda Cabal recognizes that it was a wise decision to provide Venezuelans with Temporary Protected Status (or TPS). “The regularization of Venezuelans in the United States is a necessity,” she says.
She opposed the Democratic Party’s platform. She supported former President Donald Trump and today is “hopeful that things are not as bad as” she foresees them.
Despite her admiration for the former president, Cabal saves a comment in the face of something Trump should have done:
“President Trump and his team were left lacking an immigration proposal and they had it in their hands. They needed an act of solidarity. That doesn’t mean rewarding an increase in migration, but seeking an amnesty. That would not have looked bad for Trump. It would have given him a more human face than the disfigurement that the media provided of him.”
“I’m concerned about his support for the Green New Deal, which is the environmentalist religion. It’s fascism,” she said about Joe Biden. Other realities also concern her: “Antifa is a clearly fascist group. They are no different from those hordes that Mussolini or Hitler had.”
On the topic of aggressive progressive dogmas, she explained: “We cannot allow them to pervert children with the excuse that they will make them more tolerant. All those twisted arguments bother me. I resent the stupidity of putting ideology above biology.”
She also made her views clear with regards to cancel culture: “This is one of the extreme expressions of collective imbecility. They believe they have the right to destroy the lives of others.”
The response of those who aspire to combat this dangerous phenomenon? “We must make it visible. Publish it. Tell everyone,” Colombian Senator Maria Fernanda Cabal told El American.
Orlando Avendaño is the co-editor-in-chief of El American. He is a Venezuelan journalist and has studies in the History of Venezuela. He is the author of the book Days of submission // Orlando Avendaño es el co-editor en Jefe de El American. Es periodista venezolano y cuenta con estudios en Historia de Venezuela. Es autor del libro Días de sumisión.