The social unrest in Colombia is the result of failures of neoliberal policies that have accumulated over the years, claims Juan Carlos Tanus, president of the Association of Colombians living in Venezuela.
“In the last 40 years we haven’t had a resounding rejection of a neoliberal package like the one we are experiencing now in Colombia”, states Tanus who highlights the importance of public mobilisation against the fiscal reform of Iván Duque’s administration.
In statements to Prensa Latina, the representative of the large Colombian community in Venezuela rejected the repression unleashed by law enforcement that left 40 people dead, more than 1,200 injured and a hundred missing according to figures estimated by the Institute for Peace Development Studies (Indepaz).
“The government is getting out of hand. Faced with the violent onslaught, it discovers that the Colombian people have enough reasons to be on the streets”, he says.
Tanus also condemns the implementation of psychological operations to terrorise the population, including what he described as the re-paramilitarization of the Colombian society by using armed civilians to repress protests, with the consent of law enforcement.
He insists that in this scenario, left wing organisations need to play a leading role within society in order to “nurture and make hope real for the Colombian people that genuine changes will in fact be made.”
In Juan Carlos Tanus’s view, the goal in Colombia is to, once and for all, move away from a society in conflict to a model that can tolerate and play the role of this generation, in the face of a more stable and longer-lasting peace.
Tanus questions the claims of right-wing regional political actors that try to blame the Government of Venezuela for promoting protests in the New Granada nation, which, in his view, represents a disregard for the struggles the Colombian people have suffered for social demands.
“If anyone were to say that Venezuela is involved in this would mean ignoring the seventy-odd years of armed conflict and the struggles of each of these regions that still continue in the streets today”, he says. (PL)