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“I rise today to discuss the acute dangers to American national security that have formed and are deepening across the Western Hemisphere. These dangers have coalesced because of the comprehensive and catastrophic policies pursued by President Biden and his administration,” this is how Senator Ted Cruz began a powerful speech on Thursday in which he warned about the threats to U.S. security that are growing stronger in Latin America.
Cruz asserted that “the Biden administration seems ideologically committed to systematically alienating our allies and empowering our enemies. In this goal—and perhaps only this goal—they have been wildly successful.”
The senator took the opportunity to emphasize the cruelty and misery of socialist governments and recalled the case of his father:
“In Cuba, when Fulgencio Batista staged a coup and became a brutal dictator in the 1950s, my father was a teenager in Cuba, and he fought against Batista’s cruel regime. My father was imprisoned and tortured. He was beaten in a Cuban jail. He had his nose broken; he had his teeth broken out of his mouth. My father fled Cuba in 1957, he came to America, he came to Texas seeking freedom. He had $100 in his underwear. He didn’t speak English. He washed dishes for 50 cents an hour.”
In a detailed account of what has happened recently in Latin America, the senator pointed out different occasions in which the current administration, instead of taking a clear position against socialists —who represent a threat to this country—seems to benefit them.
More specifically on Colombia and Gustavo Petro, the new socialist president who will assume power in that country, Cruz said:
“So how has the Biden administration handled Petro’s rise to power, which their own weakness and their own appeasement facilitated? With yet more weakness and appeasement. Both Joe Biden and Secretary of State Blinken effusively congratulated Petro – ‘how great, an anti-American Marxist in a close ally of ours in Latin America!’”
The speech was the introduction to the presentation of his new bill that seeks to make conditional the aid Colombia receives from the US. For Colombia to further receive such aid, specific parameters must be fulfilled. As of August 7, Colombia will have as president Gustavo Petro, a former extreme left-wing guerrilla. This brings concern to Senator Cruz about the threat that this could represent to the United States and the aid the current government could give to an enemy of America.
“I’m not interested in giving anti-American leftists American taxpayer dollars as aid. I believe our foreign policy should use carrots and sticks. In order to incentivize other countries to behave in a way that benefits American interests and strengthens our friendships. And a way that discourages countries from seeking to harm and undermine the United States of America.”
The senator’s demands seem nothing but logical. While all sorts of nonsense have been seen in international relations under the Biden administration, it is a minimal demand that those countries given economic and military aid respond with some degree of collaboration and, above all, that they not contribute to the enemies of the United States.
The bill entitled the Caution Act, seeks to make aid to Colombia conditional on the path that —former guerrilla fighter, now president— Gustavo Petro chooses to take. “If he cuts back defense coordination with the United States, my bill will ensure that he gets no more money for security coordination. If he cuts back cooperation on drug trafficking, my bill will ensure he gets no more money for counternarcotics.”
The bill establishes that in order for Colombia to receive aid from the U.S., President Biden has to certify to Congress that Petro’s government:
(1) has not sought to erode cooperation with the United States in the areas of military, intelligence, and counter-terrorism;
(2) is asserting its sovereignty against the Governments of Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, the People’s Republic of China, and Venezuela— including by denying all access to military or intelligence infrastructure to those governments;
(3) has not taken significant steps to recognize, legitimize, or engage any foreign terrorist organization; and
(4) has not interfered with the Special Jurisdiction for Peace’s efforts to investigate and, as appropriate, sentence current or former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia who committed acts of terrorism or gross violations of human rights.
When closing his speech, the Senator called on the Senate to unite against the socialist regimes in the region and to stop any kind of aid.
” We don’t support Marxists in Latin America, and any leftist leader who chooses socialism will be held accountable by the United States. And at a minimum, will no longer be funded by the U.S. taxpayers to undermine our great nation.(…) If President Biden won’t stand up for America, then I hope and pray that the Congress will.”
Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editor-in-chief of El American. Economist. Podcaster. Political and economic analysis of America. Colombian exile in the United States // Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editora en jefe de El American. Economista. Podcaster. Análisis político y económico de América. Colombiana exiliada en EE. UU.