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News > Colombia

Piedad Cordoba Apologizes For Duque's Attitude Towards Cuba

  • "One cannot understand the systematic aggression against the Cuban people(...), when it is gratitude that we owe in my homeland to the land of Martí," former Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba. | Photo: Twitter/@AleLRoss198

Published 25 January 2021

"On behalf of the majority of Colombian people, I would like to offer heartfelt apologies for the improper behavior of the government of President Iván Duque Márquez and his Democratic Center party," begins the former senator's letter to the Cuban government and people.

teleSUR English reproduces and translates in full a letter sent on January 20 by former Colombian senator and human rights defender, Piedad Córdoba, to the government and peoples of Cuba on behalf of the majority of the Colombian people.  

Bogotá, January 20, 2021

Your Excellencies


President Republic of Cuba


Minister of Foreign Affairs Republic of Cuba


Piedad Cordoba: Paramilitarism Became a Regional Strategy

Affectionate greetings,

On behalf of the majority of the Colombian people, I would like to offer heartfelt apologies for the improper behavior of the government of President Iván Duque Márquez and his Democratic Center party. The systematic aggression against the Cuban people and the revolutionary State that you represent is incomprehensible, when it is gratitude that we owe in my homeland to the land of Martí. Likewise, I express my full solidarity in the midst of the umpteenth onslaught of political persecution unleashed by the fortunately outgoing U.S. government headed by Donald Trump, who included Cuba in his rigged list of countries related to terrorism.

Unfortunately, the foreign policy of the Colombian State fell into what the academic Renán Vega Cantor calls "strategic subordination" to Washington's interests. From the "RespicePolum" of a century ago that forced us to accept the encirclement of Panama propitiated by the United States, to the pathetic role of the Duque government with the artful accusation of Cuba of protecting terrorism, passing through shameful episodes such as the promotion of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, TIAR (1947), being the host for the creation of the OAS (1948), the rupture of bilateral relations after the Cuban revolution or lending our territory for U.S. bases and troops, have been the imprint of mortgaging our sovereignty to be a geopolitical pawn. The foreign policy of the current government is monstrous and incoherent and our foreign ministry continues to turn its back on Our America, to the shame of those of us who feel patriotic.

Colombia can only be grateful to Cuba. Not only was it the architect of the 2016 Peace Agreement, which the present government has ended up shattering by allowing the daily genocide of social leaders and former combatants, but it also served repeatedly as mediator and guarantor of dialogue processes with the rebel groups. What a short memory the Uribistas have, blinded by their electoral ambitions and their flattery with the decadent Trumpism, who do not want to remember that during the government of Uribe Velez, Cuba lent its territory for a long process of talks with the ELN that did not come to a happy end. What a diplomatic blunder of the Colombian State that seeks to disregard the signed protocols due to a change of government in order to concoct a montage that tries to sustain the unsustainable qualification of Cuba as an enemy of peace in Our America.

Before the nonsensical accusation of the Duque government against Cuba, the debate is not the support to an insurgent group, but the violation of the protocols of the IHL claimed by Colombia that could well imply a transgression of international law with its respective consequences before the International Court of The Hague. It is becoming customary for the Colombian state to disregard its international legal commitments as has been happening with the Peace Agreement, -of which the State you represent is also a signatory- since it was signed under the category of Special Agreement duly deposited in Berne and as a Unilateral Declaration of State before the Security Council of the United Nations. But in spite of this, what is happening in Colombia is perfidy in the face of its systematic non-compliance.

The US and Colombia have no moral authority to accuse Cuba of anything. Today, when in the midst of the global crisis aggravated by the pandemic, Cuba serves as hope for humanity, exporting life with its medical brigades and building its own solutions that the great powers would envy, the American and Colombian peoples suffer the catastrophic ravages not only of the virus but also of the economic devastation of neoliberalism. The great power lets 1172 citizens die of Covid for every million inhabitants, while in your country only 14 per million die despite the limitations imposed by the criminal blockade. And while you prepare your four vaccination candidates and project the immunization of the entire population in the first semester of this year, in Colombia, the Duque government irresponsibly gives conflicting versions on vaccination and prolongs the health crisis amidst opaque private contracts, in the midst of the greatest economic depression of the present century.

For Duque to comply with the protocols of international law is to favor terrorism, but not the complicit attitude of a State that allowed 60 massacres last year in its territory. Neither does sponsoring paramilitary and mercenary groups for the destabilization of the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who use Colombian territory sponsored by U.S. agents, seem to the unpresentable Colombian Foreign Ministry to favor terrorism.

In a country with ongoing ethnocide and political genocide, the problems of national security are not solidarity or friendship with Cuba. It causes indignation that while impunity prevails in the daily assassinations of social leaders and Israeli or American "advisors" handle strategic and confidential information, Colombian intelligence manufactures for expulsion Russian "spies" and is dedicated to pursue the activities of Cuban diplomacy in clear violation of its immunity, as the report revealed by Semana magazine shows. Those of us who have been part of the political opposition in Colombia know the viciousness with which the Colombian state has fabricated judicial set-ups and the recent episodes against Cuba only denote the persistence of this practice. As I will present in the Truth Clarification Commission, high officials of the Colombian state in collusion with U.S. agents sought to involve Cuba and Venezuela in the framework of their plans for legal sabotage of the peace process. The so-called Law-fare or legal warfare has not only been used in the country against negotiators and friends of peace, but also against the nations of the Great Homeland that favored the Final Agreement.

I ask you that the harassment received by the Duque government and the insidious pressure of the Democratic Center party do not spoil the relations of two sister nations, daughters of Bolivar and Marti. The millions of Colombian men and women who enjoy Cuba's favor, its contribution to peace, health, culture and the economy of our country thank them in advance and we will do our part to prevent insanity from triumphing in our international relations in our country.

Finally, with respect to the Trump administration's farewell blunder under the auspices of the Colombian State, the whole world is clear that the only refuge for terrorism in Cuba is the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay and that the White House, not you, but the White House, should be held accountable for this affront to humanity.


Bogotá, Colombia

January 20, 2021

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