Colombia’s Petro vows to work with Spain to deal with current threats
Madrid, May 3 (EFE).- Colombian President Gustavo Petro on Wednesday said he would fight “in brotherhood” with Spain against the threats posed by climate change and the challenges to the future of humanity, “acting together” in a commitment that does not focus on the past.
“We have to act together,” said Petro in his address to Spain’s Congress of Deputies, the lower chamber of parliament, on his state visit that began Wednesday with a reception at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
The Colombian leader delivered his speech after making controversial remarks in Bogota on Monday, International Workers’ Day, when he made reference to the “yoke” Spain had imposed on Ibero-America in past centuries.
The Spanish government did not comment on Petro’s Monday remarks and emphasized that the intent of the administration of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is always to have good diplomatic relations with the rest of the world’s governments.
“Of course, the government of Spain cares for its diplomatic relationships with all governments of the world and also with that of Colombia,” was the only thing Spanish government spokesperson Isabel Rodriguez said about the matter at a press conference.
In his address to the Spanish Parliament, Petro emphasized the importance of Spain holding the rotating presidency of the European Union Council for the second half of this year, during which time a summit will be held in July in Brussels bringing together officials from the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
“Thus, with Spain (as) a world power of life leading Europe, with our support and help, in a new brotherhood (will) build a world power of life on planet Earth,” Petro said.
Given his remarks, Petro clearly feels that humanity is in danger, with science warning that “we are at the beginning of a time of extinction, which is not the Apocalypse of the Bible, but looks like it.”
This is a moment “of profound crisis, of a change in paradigms, culture, ways of being, modes of production,” which humanity must confront united with science as “a lighthouse that illuminates and guides the way.”
“We’re on the threshold of extinguishing ourselves or changing,” Petro emphasized, adding that leaders must now “guide the people to unknown worlds, toward a change and transformation of humanity” that must include a change in culture, modes of production and consumption, abandoning dirty energy sources and emphasizing water, wind and solar power.
To achieve that, all leaders around the world must coordinate their actions to find the areas and public policies that enable “humanity to continue existing and for life to keep existing on this planet.”
And, directing himself to Spain’s lawmakers, he warned: “Today, we’re being called upon … to make the decisions so that life can exist on our planet.”
Earlier, Petro – who arrived on Tuesday in Spain – was welcomed with honors by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
Participating in the welcoming ceremony were Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares and the four ministers who are part of the Colombian delegation holding the portfolios of Foreign Relations, Mines, Education and Commerce, along with other institutional representatives.
After he addressed the Spanish parliament, Petro and his wife Veronica Alcocer attended a luncheon hosted by the king and queen at Zarzuela Palace.
On Wednesday evening, the two couples will meet once again at the Royal Palace for a gala dinner.
Petro – who is staying at El Pardo Palace, a venue reserved for top-level heads of state making official visits to Spain – on Tuesday afternoon began his agenda with a visit to a trade fair for Colombian entrepreneurs.
His trip is aimed at strengthening political, economic and trade relations with Spain and dealing with matters of mutual concern, including the process being pushed by Bogota to achieve peace agreements with still-active guerrilla groups.
Petro’s presence in Madrid will also be marked by a conference on the political process in Venezuela organized by Colombia to try and redirect relations between that country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, and the political opposition.