“Peter! Petro!” and “Yes it can be done!” Dozens of Colombians greeted their president Gustavo Petro in downtown Queens, New York on Sunday night. The president spoke of the migrants’ hard work, the nostalgia they feel for their country and promised not to let them down.
“The simple reality of violence, mobs everywhere, destruction of existence everywhere, was creating a diaspora that was visiting the entire planet, filling strange places with Colombian men and women,” Petro said from a podium on the steps of a municipal building in Queens. .
Girls and men and women in flowery costumes, some with Colombian flags, waited several hours for Petrona to arrive, listening to their country’s artists sing cumbia and bulerengue. Colombian sweets, ponchos and handicrafts were sold on the street.
Petro, which is based in New York On the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly, introduced the crowd to Leonor Zalabata, the first indigenous woman to represent Colombia at the UN. He also introduced Luis Gilberto Murillo, Colombia’s ambassador to the United States, and who is black.
“How would they name a black man, they said back in Bogotá? How do you name an indigenous woman? They said there in Bogota. Well, here we named them, here is the representation of the Colombian people,” Petro said. “They’ll be ready from day one.”
Petro was It was opened on 7 August As the first leftist president in the history of the Andean country. He proposes to unite the countries of the region through common issues: he invited Central America, South America and the Caribbean countries affected by drug trafficking to evaluate the anti-drug policy, which, according to him, has failed in Colombia.
In his first month in office, he has prioritized Restore diplomatic relations With the government of Nicolás Maduro, which was toppled by his predecessor three years ago. His government has also said it is trying to mediate for Nicaragua to release opposition prisoners, but has been unsuccessful.
Before speaking to the Colombian community in Queens, he met with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Harold Parra, 51, traveled from New Jersey to see Petro. “We are making a piece of history with this president who is a worthy son of the people,” said an immigrant dedicated to maintaining the building. “His humanitarianism, his humility, his fight for those most in need… Finally a new beginning.”
While waiting for the president, the crowd sang the Colombian national anthem and chants were also heard against former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, who represented the right.
Dancers with big skirts and flowers in their hair danced to traditional rhythms like Bambuko. Some young entrepreneurs talked about their business. Petro was surrounded by various ministers and Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.
The president said that consulates and embassies in the United States should not be filled with people connected to power, but should be filled with servants of the people and be “bridges of unity.” The crowd gave him a standing ovation.
He added that he wants a less fearful migrant community, knowing he has the Colombian government to help him.
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