The similarities between Gustavo Pedro and Pedro Castillo today are reduced to the fact that they are two Latin American left-wing presidents. Because his victory in Colombia on June 19 and in Peru a year ago was described as historic. A little more. The two met and shook hands in stark contrasts in Lima (Peru) on Monday. Pedro, the Colombian president since August 7, is living a sweet moment. He has a 64% approval rating. For Castillo, the Peruvian president, the first year seemed like an eternity. Up to 40 ministers have been replaced due to allegations of corruption In his cabinet, only 8% of Peruvians have confidence in his government. Pedro welcomed Spanish President Pedro Sánchez in Colombia. This Monday he became the first president to visit Castillo.
The Colombian president wants to set the agenda for the region and lead the so-called new Latin American progressive axis. The Peruvian president felt left out of a group that could join Chile’s Gabriel Boric, Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez and Lula in Brazil if he wins the next elections. After a private meeting with Castillo, Pedro participated in a presidential summit of the Andean community, where he made it clear who he wanted on his side.
There, before the presidents of Ecuador and Bolivia, Guillermo Lasso and Luis Arce and Castillo, he asked for the integration of new countries such as Chile and Venezuela, and eventually Argentina. “The more voices we bring together, the more powerful we will be,” he warned. Both countries were already part of the group, but Chile withdrew in 1976 and Venezuela in 2006. Now Petro wants to keep them in as part of its regional policy.
With the visit, his first outside Colombia, Pedro endorsed a weakened Castillo and made up for his absence at this month’s inauguration in Bogotá. The Peruvian president was unable to attend because Congress had banned him from leaving the country amid corruption allegations against his entourage.
In the private meeting between the two, in which only a few pictures were released, bilateral trade, security and environmental issues were discussed. Pedro demanded improvements in trade between the two countries, raising taxes, but above all he gave his support to the Peruvian president in advancing regional integration. Caught in a perpetual political crisis, Castillo is unlikely to look beyond his borders.
This first trip takes place precisely On the same day as the resumption of relations between Colombia and Venezuela, With the swearing-in of Ambassador Armando Benedetti in Caracas, after years of chilling. And amid controversy Colombia is not the only member state of the OAS He did not support a resolution condemning human rights abuses in Nicaragua. Pedro will return to Bogotá this Monday, but in the few hours that his trip to Peru lasts, he seeks to clarify what Colombia is going to see in the region and who he wants as fellow travelers.
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