At the end of 4 years of government, we consulted Mario UruenaPolitical Scientist, Professor at the Faculty of Jurisprudence of the Universidad del Rosario, Doctor of Law, Master in Geopolitics and expert in security and conflict issues, to take stock of Iván Duque’s management in terms of foreign policy.
The proposals fulfilled
Despite having shown interest and intentions in fulfilling all the campaign promises regarding foreign policy, few managed to be carried out or fully completed. One of those that was left halfway, but had greater compliance was improve cooperation with countries in the region to attack armed groups.
Despite this, Mario Urueña points out that, despite the cooperation with other neighboring nations, with Venezuelawith whom is the border shared the most, it was not possible to influence the fight against criminal networks that move between both countries and, instead, they ended up breaking off relations for which “it was very difficult to strengthen those same security cooperation mechanisms”.
One proposal that was fulfilled was “diplomacy based on state policy” with which he focused on not being “indifferent” to denounce abuses of international law committed by other governments as was done during the russian invasion or continuously in Venezuela, Nicaragua or Cuba.
The broken promises
One of the key proposals that had the most publicity and that was not fulfilled was the ‘modernization and professionalization of the diplomatic career with strengthening of the consular service’. Urueña points out that this aspect is not exclusive to the Duque government, but rather comes from before, taking into account that diplomatic posts have been used more to pay political favors.
“Political appointments have prevailed over technical career appointments and above all the appointment of ambassadors. The higher the rank, the more political the appointment tends to be.more than career civil servants and Duque, far from achieving an improvement, does not achieve a notable change”, highlights Urueña.
For the analyst, the second most notable failure in proposals is the ‘diplomatic fence’ given that it was an unfavorable bet “because it is clear that the Venezuelan regime continues and the promise that ‘the regime’s hours were numbered’ was not the case either, in fact, we see that Duque leaves before Maduro from the presidency.”
Added to these proposals are others that did not come to fruition, such as the creation of a Superior Council of Foreign Relations or achieve that United Nations sanctions Venezuela for harboring terrorist groups.
hits and misses
After 4 years of government, Mario Urueña estimates that there are two great successes that may have nuances. The first was vaccination batch managementdespite the reports of cost overruns, “one could not help but think that the vaccination program would not have been successful if it had not been for management” that allowed the country to receive a good number of doses against COVID-19.
The second hit is the Temporary Protection Statute granted to Venezuelan migrants that allowed “improving the conditions of existence and the rights before the Colombian State for this vulnerable population can be felt as a success beyond susceptibilities in the face of the motivations to grant it, but the result may be more favorable than questionable.”
As for the failures, one is the interference of members of the ruling party in the most recent elections in the United States that, although they are not attributable to Iván Duque, “in respect of sovereignty and non-interference, Duque could have made a more convincing condemnation to get rid of this interference, which suddenly by political calculation he did not do it”.
“It is clear that this of the president Biden not having a great will to dialogue with President Duque and to strengthen relations, since it is the result of a political miscalculation,” says Urueña, who adds that the idea of promoting the ‘diplomatic siege’ on Venezuela “and betting on a de facto rather than a diplomatic solution It was a long shot gone wrong.”
A third failure is the image of Colombia before organizations of the international community such as the United Nations, remembering when documents with imprecise data and images that did not correspond to denounce the Venezuelan regime. Add to this false starts like the speech of Iván Duque and the 7 dwarfs at UNESCO.
For the analyst Mario Urueña, Iván Duque leaves a legacy of gray and unfortunate foreign policy because each president “was able to take advantage of some result in some area. De Santos, Uribe, even Pastrana, Samper, Gaviria and from then on could have had certain victories and demands” that focused on multilateralism, but with Duke it was not like that.
“The legacy of Duque is a gray legacy, shooting to very deficient and that, to the next president, even the following presidents, they will have to dedicate themselves to the reconstruction of diplomatic relations with the United States, with Venezuela, with the countries of the hemisphere,” said Urueña.
“I think it must be said without further nuance that the legacy of Iván Duque is a very unfortunate legacy for Colombia’s foreign policy”, concludes Urueña.