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The election of the first-ever leftist Colombian president worries foreign policy experts

Newly elected leftist Colombian president could be the reason for changes in the United States’ stance

On Sunday, the first ever Colombian President was elected,  Gustavo Petro and his  vice-presidential candidate Francia Márquez. This is considered a major win for these leaders, who are the first left-leaning leaders in Colombia’s decades-long history as a center-right nation.

For the U.S., however, this poses a concern because of their long-standing political alliance with Colombia, which may be jeopardized as a result of this, leaving many foreign policy experts concerned and worried.

Who is the Colombian President-Elect Gustavo Petro?

President Gustavo Petro is a former guerilla leader and an emblem of social change and the want for a better life, higher expectations, and greater accountability from leaders in the Latin American nation. He has been responsible for mobilizing millions of poverty-stricken young Colombians who are desperate for change in leadership and governance.

It comes as no surprise that this leftist leader would be victorious, given that Colombia has been one of the worst-hit regions economically, fiscally, politically, and developmentally in past decades, and more recently during the pandemic. As other countries in Latin America, including Peru and Chile, continue to elect leftist leadership, Gustavo Petro as the Colombian President fits the ideal for the new-age Latin American leader.

A photo of the U.S. Presidential home, the White House.

What does his seat in the office have to do with the U.S.?

However, even while the rest of the world and Latin America may be rejoicing at his win, Gustavo Petro himself expresses his desire to maintain friendly economic and political relationships with the U.S., the Biden administration and foreign policy experts aren’t so sure. There is hesitation from the U.S. to continue an alliance with the left-leaning nation, although there is promise for progress from the other side.

As Petro’s Colombian Preasident1 term begins on August 7, we’ll have more clarity on how political relationships and policies turn out.

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