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Former Colombian President Duque warns that the legalization of cocaine will cause a “great” threat to US security.

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Former Colombian President Iván Duque warned that his successor’s efforts to legalize cocaine would turn Colombia into a “narco state” that could threaten the security of the United States and other countries “in the hemisphere.”

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

Duque, who left office in August, continued: “So I am in no way in favor of the legalization of the cocaine trade… But I also have to say it, Colombia cannot become a narco-state. I think the world is now It has unified the concept of prohibition, and I believe that if a single country, say Colombia, decides to legalize cocaine, it will become a narco-state.”

In contrast, Duque cited his administration’s “holistic approach” to the challenges of illegal drugs, from the largest drug seizures to date, to extradition and health care policies to treat addicts. In addition, he called for more to be done to curb demand “in countries where consumption of the game has skyrocketed.”

The party of current President Gustavo Petro has viewed the idea of ​​legalizing cocaine as an effort to move away from what some call the “irrational” war on drugs. Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president and former guerrilla leader, called for a “new international convention” during his inaugural address, stating that “the war on drugs has failed.”

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According to an estimate by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Colombia in 2020 was the world’s top producer of cocaine, growing more than the two closest nations, Peru and Bolivia combined.

Former Colombian President Iván Duque speaks during a meeting with mayors and governors in Bogotá, Colombia, on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
(AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Petro stated that “the war on drugs has failed.”

“Which is more poisonous for humanity, cocaine, coal or oil?” Peter said. “Opinion in power has ordained that cocaine is poison and should be prosecuted, while causing only minimal overdose deaths… but instead, coal and oil should be protected, even though it may wipe out all of humanity.”

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President Duque also addressed border security and the crisis on the southern border of the United States. He said that one way to help solve it would be to bring more investment to the Americas. “Bringing those investments here will create jobs, it will create opportunities, it will create added value chains, and I think that could deter pressure on the southern border of the United States.”

He noted that the focus on climate change as a major issue means that Colombia must adapt or suffer in the long run. He explained that 40% of Colombia’s exports come from oil and gas, with much of the national profit derived from taxes and foreign investment in that sector.

He insisted that Colombia could be a leader in the search for alternative fuels, but that the issue “is not a black and white issue.”

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

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolás Maduro.
(MAXIMUM SHEMETOV/AFP/Getty Images)

“A transition is taking place and Colombia may become an exporter of green hydrogen in the next decade, but until now, we must maintain the balance of doing a good job when it comes to oil and gas in terms of exports over production. Duke argued. “At the same time, we must continue to expand in non-conventional renewable energy.”

“I think we have to continue to be leaders in the energy transition with non-conventional renewable energies, but we have to maintain… conventional energy, which is a source of financing for the social programs we have in Colombia,” he said.

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Oil also provides Venezuela with power and wealth, which it uses to build ties with nations like Russia and Iran. Duque warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin sees Venezuela as a “mechanism to destabilize the Western Hemisphere,” and Putin said he also sees Colombia as “a future strategic partner.”

“I condemned it when I was president. And we also expelled spies, Russian spies from Colombian territory, and I think we have to continue to demonstrate [to] the world of that interest that Russia has in Venezuela,” said Duque.

“I believe that at this time, all countries in the Western Hemisphere should reject Vladimir Putin’s intention to bring to the Western Hemisphere a destabilizing capacity,” he continued. “We have seen how they have tried to interfere in the elections and destabilize the elections and influence the elections by manipulating algorithms with the local media and also by espionage.”

“So I have been clear, and I can say it again, that Russia’s intention to use Venezuela as… the gateway to try to destabilize the region has to be denounced very clearly, and [Putin] he also has to get a message that he can’t mess with Western democracies.” Duke also called for Putin to be “tried by the International Criminal Court” for his actions involving Ukraine.

Former President Duque also spoke about the new projects he has been supervising since leaving office. He said that one of those projects was to help revive the Amazon in a project known as the Amazon Initiative, which is a way to revive and sustain the area.

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During the interview, Duque also spoke about the influence China has on the continent, the appeal of leftism in Latin America, pro-market economic reforms, the war in Ukraine, and the National Liberation Army, a foreign terrorist organization designated by the US Department of State.

Andrew Murray of Fox News contributed to this report.

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