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REP. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) got into an argument with leftist Colombian senator, Gustavo Bolívar, when discussing the possibility that the new president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, will legalize cocaine in the South American country, inevitably affecting smuggling in the United States.
After Salazar expressed solidarity with Colombians in the face of the danger of Petro legalizing cocaine, Senator Bolivar called her “ignorant” and tried to contradict her statements.
“Petro has not been in power for a month and already we are all worried. Now he is likely to legalize cocaine, which will affect us here in Miami,” Salazar tweeted. “I join Colombians in my District in denouncing Petro’s follies, God bless my brothers in Colombia!”
Petro no lleva un mes en el poder y ya nos preocupa a todos. Ahora es probable que legalice la cocaína, lo que nos afectará aquí en Miami.
Me uno a los colombianos en mi Distrito para denunciar las locuras de Petro. ¡Que Dios bendiga a mis hermanos de #Colombia!🙏🏼🇨🇴🇺🇸
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) August 28, 2022
Bolivar, in a public tantrum over Salazar’s tweet, wondered how “such an ignorant lady” could make it to the U.S. Congress, and said that the proposal of Petro and his radical supporters is to “open a global dialogue on the resounding failure of the war on drugs.”
¿Cómo una señora tan ignorante llegó a ser congresista en los EEUU?
¿Quien le dijo que un Pte puede legalizar la cocaína?
¿Y quien le dijo que un país puede hacerlo unilateralmente?
Lo que hacemos es abrir un diálogo global sobre el rotundo fracaso de la guerra contra las drogas https://t.co/bty2g74Hxe
— Gustavo Bolívar (@GustavoBolivar) August 28, 2022
Salazar, who has been known for her firm stance against communist regimes in the region and for her solidarity with the libertarian movement throughout Latin America, responded to Bolivar that Petro’s government “will be narco-socialist and will legalize death by drugs”
“I had 54 thousand more votes than you,” Salazar began, responding to the Colombian senator’s insulting question. “Petro will do whatever he wants, with pack donkeys like you, until he discards them when he doesn’t need them. In 2021, Colombia produced 1010 tonnes of cocaine ‘unilaterally'”
Petro’s threat to national security
Salazar’s concern is not unknown in the United States, nor is it a partisan position. The Washington Post recently published a journalistic piece analyzing the possible consequences Americans should face if Colombia’s former guerrilla commander pursues his intentions to legalize cocaine.
“It’s a radical turn in this historically conservative country, one that could upend its long-standing — and lucrative — counternarcotics relationship with the United States. U.S. officials past and present are signaling concern; the drug was responsible for an estimated 25,000 overdose deaths in the United States last year,” the article reads.
Showing solidarity, Florida Democratic state senator Annette Taddeo also expressed her concern on Twitter.
Estoy con la comunidad colombiana en FL-27 y en todo el mundo, que con razón estamos preocupados por los esfuerzos de Petro para despenalizar la cocaína.
Esta decisión podría amenazar la seguridad y la estabilidad en Colombia y la seguridad regional en el hemisferio occidental.
— Annette Taddeo (She/Her/Ella) (@Annette_Taddeo) August 28, 2022
“I stand with the Colombian community in FL-27 and around the world, who are rightly concerned about Petro’s efforts to decriminalize cocaine,” the state congresswoman tweeted. “This decision could threaten security and stability in Colombia and regional security in the Western Hemisphere.”
For his part, Bolivar advocates the “total legalization” of drugs in Colombia.
#LaPazTotalEs legalización total.
— Gustavo Bolívar (@GustavoBolivar) August 30, 2022
Tomás Lugo, journalist and writer. Born in Venezuela and graduated in Social Communication. Has written for international media outlets. Currently living in Colombia // Tomás Lugo, periodista y articulista. Nacido en Venezuela y graduado en Comunicación Social. Ha escrito para medios internacionales. Actualmente reside en Colombia.