The distance between Juan Manuel Santos and the representative of Colombia in Washington, Francisco Santos, jumped in the last days from the local sphere to foreign policy. “I would recommend that Pacho leave the embassy before January 21, so that he does not suddenly suffer some shameful event,” said the former president of the Republic (2010-2018).
“I know why I’m telling you. Yes, there is some discomfort with what has happened, “he argued, referring to the versions that the ambassador had meetings in favor of Republican Donald Trump, who was seeking re-election, in the US presidential campaign.
The statement was denied by Chancellor Claudia Blum, who in an interview with EL TIEMPO stated: “Since his inauguration, in September 2018, our ambassador in Washington has held 81 working meetings with Republican congressmen and 84 with Democratic congressmen. Those meetings with legislators from both parties, who work on foreign relations, budget, trade, science and transportation, are decisive in our bilateral agenda.
For the head of the country’s foreign policy, Santos will continue to lead the diplomatic delegation because he has fulfilled the tasks designated by President Iván Duque: “Ambassador Santos has strengthened the bipartisan relationship in the United States and, thanks to the fluid relationships it has maintained and built with Democrats and Republicans, it has promoted important issues for Colombia with the Government, Congress, the private sector and social organizations of that country ”.
Former President Santos believes otherwise, considering that his first cousin did act recklessly when gambling for Trump. “There is a strategist, a contractor for the Pentagon, who has helped Colombia for a long time, he has worked with the Colombian governments. That person was called by the ambassador and asked: ‘Look, I want to see how to help Trump‘, and he even mentioned the possibility of Duque going either to Miami or to Washington, ”the former head of state revealed in an interview with W Radio.
Santos responded from the embassy with the announcement of a lawsuit. For this, he gave power to his lawyer Iván Cancino. “We are going to sue because this is not an accusation against any person, Santos is accusing the ambassador of interfering in a presidential election“Said the lawyer.
“Where the ambassador does not file a complaint, that would be agreeing with Juan Manuel Santos and would endanger bilateral relations,” he argued.
“I would give Pacho a cousin advice: don’t go to waste money. Lawyers are very expensive. It is a demand that has neither head nor tail. He knows perfectly well that what I said is totally true, “replied the Nobel Prize winner.
He even warned him “not to expose yourself to a diplomatic snub, because that doesn’t suit anyone.”
Why the ex-president’s warning? For him, on January 20, Democrat Joe Biden, the political antithesis of Donald Trump, arrives at the White House.
Alvaro Uribe, for his part, came out in defense of who was his former president during the eight years he was in the House of Nariño (2002-2010):
“It seems very unfair to me what they have done with him,” the natural chief of the Democratic Center (CD) told EL TIEMPO. “He showed, when those charges were being made against him, that in that famous meeting what he did was advocate for bipartisan politics.”
In Uribe’s opinion, “President Duque always proceeded with transparency and impartiality, like Ambassador Francisco Santos.”
Thus, this rivalry not only affects the relationships of a family and opens an even greater gap in opposing ideological aspects, but now foreign relations have an echo. “It seems unfortunate to me,” Pacho Santos told the media. “It is very sad that a person who has a Nobel Peace Prize acts like this”.