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Colombia’s former President Duque warns cocaine legalization will trigger ‘main’ US safety risk

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Colombia’s former President Ivan Duque warned that his successor’s efforts to legalize cocaine would flip Colombia right into a “narco state” that would threaten the safety of the United States and different nations “in the hemisphere.” 

“Now, what worries me is that there is now the possibility of getting into the permission, or the legalization of cocaine and consumption,” Duque, who had been in New York to attend the Concordia Summit, advised Fox News Digital. “I think that it will be very bad for Colombia and that will be very bad for the countries in the hemisphere, and I think that could generate also a major security threat to the United States.”

Duque, who left workplace in August, continued: “So by no means I’m in favor of the legalization of the cocaine trade … But I also have to say it, Colombia cannot turn into a narco state. I think the world now has unified in the concept of prohibition, and I think if just one country, let’s say Colombia, decides to legalize cocaine, it’ll turn itself into a narco state.”  

In distinction, Duque cited his administration’s “holitic approach” to the challenges of unlawful medicine, from the best drug seizures ever, to extradition, to well being care insurance policies to deal with addicts.  He additional known as on extra being achieved to curb demand “in the countries where the consumption of the game has spiked.” 

The occasion of present President Gustavo Petro has thought-about the concept of legalizing cocaine as an effort to shift away from what some name the “irrational” struggle on medicine. Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president and a former guerilla chief, known as for a “new international convention” throughout his inaugural speech, claiming “the war on drugs has failed.” 


According to an Office of National Drug Control Policy estimate, Colombia in 2020 was the world’s main producer of cocaine, cultivating greater than the 2 closest nations, Peru and Bolivia, mixed. 

Colombia’s former President Ivan Duque talks throughout a gathering with mayors and governors in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. 
(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

During his handle to the United Nations General Assembly, Petro acknowledged “The war on drugs has failed.” 

“What is more poisonous for humanity, cocaine, coal or oil?” Petro mentioned. “The opinion of power has ordered that cocaine is poison and must be persecuted, while it only causes minimal deaths from overdoses…but instead, coal and oil must be protected, even when it can extinguish all humanity.”


President Duque additionally addressed border safety and the disaster on the U.S. southern border. He mentioned a technique to assist clear up it might be to convey better investments to the Americas. “Bringing those investments here will create jobs, will create opportunity, will create aggregated value chains and I think that could disincentivize the pressure on the southern border of the United States.”

He famous that the give attention to local weather change as a significant problem implies that Colombia should adapt or undergo within the long-term. He defined that 40% of Colombia’s exports come from oil and fuel, with a lot of the nationwide revenue derived from taxation of and international funding in that sector. 

He insisted that Colombia generally is a chief in pursuing different fuels, however that the problem is “not a matter of black and white.” 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro

Russian President Vladimir Putin, proper, shakes palms together with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro

“There’s a transition going on and Colombia can turn itself in the next decade into an exporter of green hydrogen, but so far, we need to keep the balance of doing a good job when it comes to oil and gas in terms of exports on production,” Duque argued. “At the same time, we need to keep on expanding on non-conventional renewable energies.”

“I think we have to continue becoming leaders in the energy transition with non-conventional renewable energies, but we need to keep … the conventional energy that is a source of funding for the social programs that we have in Colombia,” he mentioned. 


Oil additionally supplies Venezuela with energy and wealth, which it makes use of to construct ties to nations reminiscent of Russia and Iran. Duque warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Venezuela as a “mechanism to destabilize the Western Hemisphere,” with Putin having mentioned he additionally sees Colombia as “a future strategic partner.” 

“I condemned it when I was president. And we also expelled spies, Russian spies from the Colombian territory, and I think we need to keep on demonstrating [to] the world of that interest that Russia has in Venezuela,” Duque mentioned. 

“I think at this point in time, all the Western Hemisphere countries need to reject that intention of Vladimir Putin to bringing to the Western Hemisphere a capacity to destabilize,” he continued. “We have seen how they have tried to get involved in elections and destabilize elections and influence elections by the manipulation of algorithms with local media and also by espionage.”

“So I have been clear, and I can say it again, that intention of Russia, of using Venezuela as … the point of entrance to try to destabilize the region has to be very clearly denounced, and [Putin] has to receive also a message that he cannot mess with the Western democracies.”  Duque additionally known as for Putin being “tried by the International Criminal Court” for his actions involving Ukraine. 

Former President Duque additionally mentioned new tasks that he’s overseeing since leaving workplace. One such undertaking he mentioned was to assist revive the Amazon in a undertaking often called the Amazon Initiative which is a solution to revive and maintain the realm. 


During the interview Duque additionally mentioned the affect China performs on the continent, the enchantment of leftism in Latin America, pro-market financial reforms, the struggle in Ukraine, and the National Liberation Army, a delegated international terrorist group by the U.S. Department of State. 

Fox News’ Andrew Murray contributed to this report.

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