Óscar Iván Zuluaga is the new candidate of the Centro Democrático for the presidency of Colombia. The candidate was also Minister of Finance during Alvaro Uribe’s second administration and is the first official candidate for the upcoming elections, which anticipate a fierce fight against socialist candidate Gustavo Petro.
Vanessa Vallejo, co-editor-in-chief of El American, talked to the candidate in El American Live about his then pre-candidacy, where he made clear some of his positions and campaign proposals.
During his participation in El American Live, Zuluaga referred to the policies he would implement if he came to power. He spoke about his proposals for the economy, security and international policy. He explained that one of his priorities will be the creation of decent and well-paid employment.
“We need to improve the income of Colombian families, that young people feel that it is worth studying because they find opportunities with good salaries. That is a big challenge, because in order to generate that employment with good salaries we need to train and educate our young people well. Without a good education it is not possible to have good salaries”, he said.
He added: “What a State and a society need is stability in the rules of the game. Simple and straightforward rules that are also competitive. The problem with the tax structure in Colombia is that 80% of tax revenues are paid by companies and 20% by individuals. What companies need are tariffs so that they can be competitive and invest in order to generate well-paid employment. Then it will be those people who will pay taxes according to their income possibilities”.
During the conversation, the now candidate spoke about the agreement that was signed between the Colombian Government, under Juan Manuel Santos, and members of the FARC.
“It was an impunity agreement. Today there are no political conditions or in terms of the international community to say that those agreements are going to be repealed. I believe that the way forward is to make some adjustments that allow removing that element of total impunity and allow advancing in some points of national reconciliation: 1) that those who have committed atrocious crimes and crimes against humanity cannot be in Congress; 2) create a special court for the trial of military; 3) require the FARC to deliver the assets to be able to repair the victims; 4) adjust the fiscal conditions”.
Regarding Venezuela, Zuluaga said that, in his opinion, it is a dictatorship and a narco-state. He pointed out that it is a refuge, a strategic rearguard for Colombia’s criminal groups such as FARC and ELN dissidents.
“From there they feed their attack on Colombians and their drug trafficking business. Colombia’s insistence has to be to press with the international community, supporting the Venezuelan opposition to make a transition to democracy”.
Finally, he spoke with Vallejo about abortion and the mandatory coronavirus vaccine. “I do not agree with abortion; I respect life from conception to the end. On the issue of the vaccine we must have a great pedagogy and be very conscious; it is necessary that everyone understands that we have to get vaccinated”, said Zuluaga.