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Presidential candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus, who will be the next President.

Colombia is undoubtedly the last great bastion of democracy and freedom of expression in South America.

Santos or Mockus, who will choose the Colombians in the next presidential elections.  There is no doubt. 

Juan Manuel Santos and President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe

For over 50 years, Colombia has always been a society that respects the constitution. No general has dared to take power by arms.  The leftist guerrillas and terrorists are the only people that for 50 years have tried -and failed-  in their attempts to besiege Bogotá, overthrowing democracy, taking the “Palacio de Nariño” (House of Government) and thereby subjugate the colombian people . Out of these groups, only the FARC has survived in spite of the military offensive launched by the government of President Alvaro Uribe in the last ten years. 

But that’s all this.

It’s easy: We are less than a month before the presidential election in my beloved Colombia and anything can happen in a country full of paradoxes, where the people together can lead to a shoeshine boy to the council of Bogota, this situation  has already occurred. Or a sports broadcaster , or what is even more picturesque, to a guerrilla for the Presidency of the Republic. Fortunately, this example of a guerrilla becoming President will not happen in the case of Mr. Gustavo Petro. God favors us.

However, the fate of Colombia could turn 180 degrees and move from right to left of center supported by the checkbook of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who some experts say Chavez is funding the campaign of Antanas Mockus through third parties and discrediting  Juan Manuel Santos by calling him a warmonger and bellicose. Santos is the successor to the ideas of current President Alvaro Uribe.

Chavez has used his usual nationalist-socialist discourse skillfully, like Rafael Correa, to disrespect Santos and treat him as a lackey of the empire of the United States since he was minister of defense in President´s Uribe second term.  Both – Correa and Chavez- have blamed and demonized Santos for the bombing of Ecuadorian territory “-a half a mile from the border with Colombia-  where  Correa hid the FARC guerrilla leader (second in charge) , alias Raul Reyes, who was killed along with 15 other guerrillas.

Both, Chavez and Correa,  also claim that Santos would be the man to start a war in the region.  An opportunistic and absurd thesis.  As absurd as thinking that Chavez would leave power after more than 12 years of oppression and lack of freedom.  Chavez waited for several years the arrival of this moment in Colombia. With Uribe leaving power soon,  and  having Antanas Mockus as President of Colombia, which is docile and has a very different profile , the new political scenario would be much easier and simpler to allow the expansion of Chavez´s “Bolivarian” revolution.

A few days ago the polls gave the lead to Mockus, which could be the  winner with 37 percent of the vote against a 29 percent for Santos. Since then, the alarms went on throughout Colombia, and the followers and supporters of Uribe have now clear ideas that it will not be easy for Juan Manuel Santos to become the next president …

Fortunately for lovers of democracy in Colombia the voting intention changed again a few days after when Mockus publicly expressed himself as an admirer of Chávez.

Clearly, the math teacher of Ukrainian origin and former rector of the University got into serious trouble with his passionate and sincere statements. And so it is obvious that his aides had to tell him to go out and rectify his sayings to the media. And indeed Mockus did it the next day when he said he used an inappropriate word to refer to Chavez and that the only thing he felt for the Venezuelan president was respect for the fact of having been elected democratically. The tiny detail is becoming a major mistake and again -for the good of Colombia- Mockus  has returned to second in the latest polls behind Santos (31% to 34%).

While the difference is not significant that I am an optimist the chances in favor of Santos will grow rapidly because people started to understand that behind Mockus is the number one enemy of Colombia, Hugo Chavez, who seeks to consolidate its economic influence and his Bolivarian revolution by getting a friend and ally who think like him in Colombia.

A  month ago, many Mockus followers saw in him the perfect candidate. A man who instead of buying guns to fight the FARC would build schools to provide education to the Colombians. With that election platform, the same one used when he was mayor of Bogota, Mockus won the affection of many Colombians weary of war and the fight against the FARC and drug trafficking.  Other points of what had been included in the top of the polls are the subjects of corruption and illegality.  Mockus said that he will act within a legal framework to achieve its objectives, referring to the serious scandals that has suffered the government of Uribe in his second term.

These corrupions scandals have been used by their political enemies and now Mockus  has really taken advantage of this situation without having lifted a finger for this.

So the colombian society is divided and anything can happen. 

Santos is accused of acting illegally when he was minister of defense and Mockus is accused of being an admirer of Chávez.

Ivan Gerardo Cruz,author and Contributor of Bloggers of The Americas

Many does want to forgive Santos for the bombing of Ecuadorian land, when the whole world celebrated the timely death of Raul Reyes, and also want to charge him for the issue of  the so called “false positives” (falsos positivos), which is nothing but the dark maneuvres of some military looking for prizes and promotions within the military structure of the army.

I wonder,  does anybody believe that Santos ordered the bombing, or that Santos ordered the generals to kill regular people  and pass them as guerrillas? Obviously not, and everyone knows that in Colombia.  On the contrary,  Santos discovered and informed about the false positives for President Uribe, and afterwards Uribe dismissed  25 army soldiers, including three generals.

So that is why I`ll stay with Juan Manuel Santos.

13 Responses to Presidential candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Antanas Mockus, who will be the next President.

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  9. Daniel

    May 6, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I have never seen more bullshit together about my country and the current campaing
    lie #1: “Colombia has always been a society that respects the constitution.” I do not know what constitution your are talking about, but certainly not colombian constitution… or was Pablo Escobar, a former congressman and among the richest drugdealers in history complying with it? or what about the recent illegal spying scandals on journalist and oposition congressmen ordered from the presidential house? Guerrillas, paramilitaries and narcodealres are ALSO colombians… unfortunately. Denying the problem does NOT solve it! please!
    lie #2: “Out of these groups, only the FARC has survived”. ELN guerrillas are still there and even the extreme right paramilitares are now back in play altough without a centralized structure.
    lie#3: Gustavo Petro is not a guerrilla since 1983. He is now among the most respected congressmen in the country although he belonged to a guerrilla called M-19 that reached a peace deal with the goverment and stopped existing since then.
    Bigest fat lie#4: “some experts say Chavez is funding the campaign of Antanas Mockus through third parties”. His campaing has been financed with the gouvernment resource that he has the right by law and with contributions. But it has been mostly done without money, but simply word of mouth and social networks (facebook).
    lie#5 “Mockus has returned to second in the latest polls behind Santos”: On the second round, he has been in first place in all recent polls. Even Santos campaing regocginize he si now number & in polls, come one!
    lie#6: “the math teacher of Ukrainian origin” He was borned and raised in Colombia and his parents are Luthuanian.
    lie#7: “behind Mockus is the number one enemy of Colombia, Hugo Chavez, who seeks to consolidate its economic influence and his Bolivarian revolution by getting a friend and ally who think like him in Colombia.” When a journalist asked Mockus if he was afraid of Chavez all he said was: “No”, but that he admire the venuzuelian president for the fact of having been elected democratically. That is all he said, he did not “rectify”. But obviously all the people that dont want him in power tried to abuse and take the frase out of context to put him as a friend of Chavez. Ridicoulous. He has been absolutely clear that he wont allow Chavez revolution to get into the country. Is there any Santos’ follower that likes faire play?
    lie#8: “A man who instead of buying guns to fight the FARC would build schools to provide education to the Colombians”. Antanas Mockus has been clear every time, that he will keep the high budget in security as long as necessary. He also did that when he was mayor of Bogota and obtained results in security that are proportionally better than the ones obtained by Uribe on the country.
    Finally, the “prizes and promotions within the military structure of the army” applieed by Santos when he was Defense Minister were the incentives that generated more than 700 executions of innocent civilians and passed as guerrillas by militeries under his charge. He never accepted responsability nor mad sure that the victims would at least have a decent creep. If you want to vote for a gentleman like that… go ahead.

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  12. Edgar

    May 3, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Santos is an evil assassin. And all what has been said here about the false positives is FALSE. One can easily corroborate this by simply googling for information or seeing different documentaries on Youtube. Santos has dirt up to his neck!

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