Presidential Candidate Gustavo Petro: Taking Colombia Back to the USSR
Socialist-populist Colombian presidential candidate and former M-19 guerrilla Gustavo Petro last week released a 54-page campaign platform and governance program that points to:
- Confiscation of the private pensions of 18 million people here and forcing them into a grossly underfunded government system;
- Confiscation of Colombia’s flawed-but-improving private health system, replacing it with a politically-hacked, underfunded state-run system that Colombia had already suffered-under prior to a 1993 reform law;
- Confiscation and redistribution to his political pals whatever private farm lands that he-alone determines to be “unproductive;”
- “Unemployment elimination” not by incentivizing more jobs-creating investment, promoting better, 21st-century education and ensuring reasonable labor rules, but instead by promising to give political-hack government jobs to anyone lazy or brainless enough to want one, as in socialist Venezuela; and
- Accelerating the abolition of the Colombian government’s number-one source of income: its multi-billion-dollar-profits-producing oil-and-gas industry.
While leading Colombian economists now sarcastically term the Petro political program as “delirious,” it could just-as-well remind people of The Beatles’ sardonic 1968 pop hit, “Back in the USSR.”
It also could call- to-mind the hysterically ironic 1972 Democratic political campaign of one-time U.S. Vice-Presidential candidate and silver-spoon blue-blood Sargent Shriver, who famously paraded into several of Detroit’s ubiquitous blue-collar bars, yelling, “beer for everyone, Courvoisier for me.”
Or Poland’s famous labor-union leader and future democratic President Lech Wałęsa, who not only led the fight to free Poland from Soviet slavery but issued probably the all-time-greatest quip about Petro-style socialism: “It’s a system where the workers pretend to work, and the State pretends to pay them.”
Petro – currently a Colombian Senator, a former Bogota Mayor, and a man who apparently has never worked in any regular job in his life – lives in luxury in Bogota, sends his kids to private schools overseas, and this month flatly refused (like his political pals in socialist Venezuela) to condemn former KGB man and Russian president-for-life Vladimir Putin, who hides his billion-dollar collections of yachts and mansions all over Russia and Europe in cahoots with oligarch pals, while thousands of working-class, cannon-fodder Russian soldiers die in a grotesque “patriotic” invasion that’s killing and wounding thousands of Ukrainian innocents, leveling their cities and sending more-than-4-million fleeing to exile.
Ironically, this is the same Petro who not only claims that Colombia doesn’t have a democracy, but who also attacked freely elected former Colombian President and current Liberal Party leader Cesar Gaviria as supporting “fascism” – all because Gaviria publicly repudiated the “neoliberal” insult hurled against him by Petro’s running-mate, Francia Marquez.
Which begs the question: Who’s calling the pot black?