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News > Latin America

European Parliamentarians Protest Colombia's Decision to Join NATO

  • Colombian president addresses European Parliament while some legislators reject the country’s NATO membership.

    Colombian president addresses European Parliament while some legislators reject the country’s NATO membership. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 May 2018

The legislators insisted that Latin America and the Caribbean is a zone of peace.

Several members of the European Parliament protested Colombia's decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as President Juan Manuel Santos spoke in front of the body in Belgium Wednesday.

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The legislators held yellow placards with messages such as: “Latin America and the Caribbean Zone of Peace! No to NATO!,” “Fulfillment of the Peace Accords,” “Freedom for Jesus Santrich” while Santos’ addressed the chamber.

Among the legislators who oppose Colombia's NATO membership are Javier Couso and Angela Vallina of the Spanish United Left party and members of the Confederal Group of the European United Left.

"Today in the European Parliament we say to Colombian president that Latin America and the Caribbean area zone of peace. No to NATO in Latin America!," the tweet reads.

Santos traveled to Europe to formalize Colombia's membership to NATO as "global partner," and to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), both decisions were announced on May 25. 

A day after the announcement regional government's including Venezuela's warned that Colombian membership in NATO represents a threat for regional stability and peace.  

"Venezuela denounces once more before the international community the intention of Colombian authorities to lend themselves to introduce, in Latin America and the Caribbean, a foreign military alliance with nuclear capacity, which in every way constitutes a serious threat for peace and regional stability," the foreign ministry said in a public statement.

Colombia will be the first "global partner" of NATO in Latin America.

Despite criticism, Santos has argued that Colombia will not participate in any NATO military operations and has highlighted the benefits for Colombia in terms of access to services and military cooperation.

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