Will Colombia Go the Way of Venezuela?

“My political awakening came in the late 1960s when I saw my father cry over the death of Argentine revolutionary leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara.” (Gustavo Petro, former “urban-guerrilla,” and hard-left candidate currently in a dead heat to win Colombia’s Presidential elections on June 19th.) 

As we go to press Colombia’s run-off presidential election set for June 19 is “too close to call” or a “virtual tie” according to the most recent Columbian polls. The first round on May 29th saw Gustavo Petro win 40.3 percent of votes and Rodolfo Hernandez, an eccentric “anti-establishment” 77 year-old real estate magnate, social media campaigner and political outsider, win 28.1 percent. Many media profiles compare Hernandez with Donald Trump.

Petro is running on a classic “soak-the-rich” platform which–oddly for a Latin-American leftist– he coupled with a trendy eco-platform of spurning fossil fuel extraction and protecting Colombia’s “biodiversity.” In sharp contrast, his political hero Che Guevara while Cuba’s “Minister of Industries in 1960” pushed “accelerated industrialization” as among his top projects, after mass-murder. 

Petro and his backers are confident of victory when more of Columbia’s youth (which mostly sat out the first round) vote in the crucial run-off. Those “young-skulls-full-of mush,” could indeed offer the needed

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