Two Years Before the Presidential Election, the Ghost of “Castrochavismo” Returns to Colombia

María Fernanda Barreto
https://cdnuploads.aa.com.tr/uploads/Contents/2018/04/10/thumbs_b_c_3a65276a38191d2fb97c42d234eaca5f.jpg?v=221631Two years before the next presidential elections in Colombia, the largest Colombian newspaper headlined a few days ago: “Plan from Venezuela to affect elections in Colombia investigated,” and, of course, the matrix began to reproduce itself.

According to this article, there are caravans of people crossing from Venezuela with the sole purpose of asking for Colombian citizenship, and the surprise for the authorities of that country is that the number of claimants of that right has grown, but what confuses them most and sets off their alarms, is that, in their own words, they have observed that “the great majority were returned immediately” after they made the request.

According to the figures that they have reviewed, from 22,147 people in 2014 and 93,975 in 2017, they went to 159,413 in 2018, 142,208 in 2019 and, ending in 2020, the figure is 42,586 sons and daughters of people born in Colombia who claim their right to nationality by birth.

What has a simple explanation and should be seen as normal is beginning to be assumed as a national security issue, according to Colombian media corporations and their affiliates. According to what has been said, the only possible explanation for this is that President Nicolas Maduro has activated his already well-known powers in the world to destabilize countries that were “extremely stable”, and to guarantee that an option that is ideologically related to him will succeed in winning the 2022 presidential elections in Colombia.

The evidence of this media matrix

As with all phantoms, the interfering presence of “Castrochavism” in the political processes of popular rebellions in other countries can only be proven with the use of parapsychology or its similarity in social communication, which are rumors.

Thus, in a very casual exercise of journalism, sadly, only this proof is provided: “A little more than a month ago, information (from a very good source) arrived at the Casa de Nariño about an alleged plan of the Nicolás Maduro regime to try to influence the presidential elections”.

Furthermore, indirectly, they accuse the Bolivarian Government of corrupting the already extremely corrupt Colombian institutions. And although they deny the existence of popular support for the Venezuelan government, they do say that it is capable of an operation to infiltrate Colombia with no less than almost 600 thousand “Castro-Chavista” agents who, like 200 years ago, would cross the border to free Colombia from the eternal alternation in power of the different currents of the same right wing subordinated to the United States, which have led it since Santander marked such an unworthy destiny.

It would be surprising how little sense of ridicule there is if we did not know that behind this matrix, as always, there is the most murderous oligarchy of the continent preparing itself for the electoral debacle that is approaching.

We will try to provide here a dose of reality because the ideologization of the journalistic exercise imposed by the right wing and its business consortiums is truly worrisome, even painful, for those of us who know that in order to build peace in Colombia it is necessary to democratize the country, and for this it is a sine qua non condition that the reality be known and analyzed, the one that is lived when walking through the streets and the fields, not the virtual one that they build and design in Washington.

Moreover, because this matrix continues to feed the conflicts between Colombia and Venezuela, which is extremely dangerous for both peoples.

What the figures say

Two years ago we published a critical analysis of the figures provided by Migración Colombia on Venezuelan migration. In it we detailed that in the section entitled “Transit Migration” the following could be read: “In this chapter you will find the number of Venezuelan citizens who use Colombia as a country of transit to third countries”. There it was pointed out that, by 2018, approximately 26% of the people who crossed the border from Venezuela returned immediately to the country.

After the crisis of xenophobia unleashed by the right wing against Venezuelan migration last year and the terrible health crisis that places Colombia among the countries with the most deaths from covid-19 in the continent, there has been a massive return of the Venezuelan migrant population, which even the Colombian authorities and media corporations have had to acknowledge.

The reason is simple and they know it: Venezuela is not as bad as they say and Colombia is not as good as they advertise it. So this return to Venezuela is absolutely understandable and is normal, even in terms of its statistics.

They also fear an increase in the number of voters in Venezuela, since for the last Colombian presidential elections, 304,000 people were registered to vote in their consulates in Venezuela, which at the time constituted much less than 10% of the estimated population.

Even so, the abstention among the Colombian population living in Venezuela and registered to vote was 89%, that is, only a number close to 1% of the Colombian population living in Venezuela went to vote (33,175 voters), because the majority of the Colombian migrant population in Venezuela arrives excluded from their own homeland, so it is common that they do not have the necessary documentation to register at the consulate and because they are not usually interested in maintaining any kind of relationship with Colombian institutions, much less in voting.

But according to their figures, they would have now 184,794 more Venezuelan-Colombians and Colombians to vote in 2022, and counting on the culture of electoral participation that has been promoted in the country, it is probable that more than the usual 10% (18,479 people) will want to vote in 2022.

They fear popular participation.

What many people do not know is that all the Colombian consulates in Venezuela have been closed since February 23, 2019, despite the fact that they continue to report $125,55 per month in expenses to the Colombian State. And therefore, the millions of Colombians who live here are forgotten by the Colombian State, for better or worse. For this reason, in order to carry out any documentation procedure it is necessary to cross the border and go to the reception points arranged in the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, Maicao, Arauca and Inírida.

This violates fundamental rights, although it does not seem to interest the State nor opposition congressmen, who will surely remember it when the presidential elections arrive, which Uribism fears so much.

As we have pointed out on many occasions, unlike Colombia, Venezuela is a country accustomed to receiving immigrants. After at least five decades of intense Colombian migration to Venezuela, the calculations made by our own community indicate that there are at least 5.5 million Venezuelans who have the right to claim their nationality by birth according to Article 96 of the Political Constitution of Colombia, which now, according to the press, the national registrar Alexander Vega is threatening to suspend, with some unheard of maneuver that, in any case, would be supralegal.

Therefore, it must be said that a very small part of those more than five million have applied for their nationality in these years with full rights. The other thing is that the increase in the figures provided by Migration Colombia, of which there is always doubt given its proven arithmetical inabilities and biased handling of statistics, occurred in 2018 and that the following two years it has progressively decreased.

It does not make sense, then, that just when there are 73% fewer of these records, a scandal should break out, unless it is nothing more than a media maneuver to conceal other objectives.

Uribism knows it will suffer an electoral debacle in 2022

The debacle of Uribism in the upcoming presidential elections is easy to predict. We already pointed it out in 2019 after the regional elections of October 27 because the analysis was obvious. The defeat of the Democratic Center party and its related candidates in that electoral process made that clear.

That was the first tangible evidence of the damage that Uribe’s permanence in power was going to cause to Uribism itself, since, as we also warned in 2018, this mandate corresponded to “Uribism without Uribe.

Today the polls say so. The popularity of Iván Duque has fallen steadily while rejection of him has grown, which in any case continues to be less than the rejection of Uribe Vélez, which only increased 8 points between August and October of this year according to the largest pollster in the country. But the demonstrations and strikes that have continued to take place in the midst of the pandemic demonstrate this more faithfully.

This does not mean that the system is at risk, given that beyond Uribism the Colombian right wing has many partisan expressions that support it, even though they are center-right and these continue to be the most popular and they ally themselves with Uribism, even with the so-called “center-left”, to seek the Gatopardian maxim of “change so that nothing changes”, an alliance that in the past regional elections translated into a large number of diverse coalitions that obtained the majority of the votes.

There is nothing better for all this than to dust off the already tired ghost of “castrochavism”, in which fortunately fewer and fewer people believe, but which for the moment continues to be useful to them.