viernes, 8 de agosto de 2014

Colombia's Santos begins second presidential term

Juan Manuel Santos Calderón formally began on 7 August his second term as Colombian President, in a public ceremony attended by dignitaries and diplomats and boycotted by some political rivals. At his inaugural he thanked "God and Colombia" for his election and declared that "Colombia's hour has come," and Colombia was "tired of thinking small" and believing itself "condemned to violence, inequality, backwardness and lack of opportunities." The President, who is to be in office until 2018, has vowed to press on with peace talks with the country's two communist guerrilla forces, the FARC and the ELN. Mr Santos said the hour had come to "reconsider the social contract" and "assure forever the prosperity of future generations," through "Third Way" policies that ensure economic growth, but with "a heart and with social sense." He said "I know there are people who like me and.. people who do not like me," but the important point he said, was for all to work for Colombia. "This is what I am proposing, that we walk and work together." He vowed to work to attain a "vision" of a country in "total peace," and with work and education opportunities for all by 2025. Among those who did "not like him" were his predecessor in the presidency, the conservative Senator Álvaro Uribe Vélez and his Democratic Center party, which has an instrumental presence in the Senate with 20 seats. The Democratic Center stated in a communiqué that it would not attend the event, for the "countless"abuses in Mr Santos's re-election including it stated, threats against voters in several constituencies by the FARC. It also stated it would not attend the event for the presence of the envoys of Venezuela, a country it accused of backing Colombian guerrillas, Radio Santa Fe reported on 7 August. The country's new Vice-President Germán Vargas Lleras was also sworn in that day; days earlier the President also reappointed Juan Carlos Pinzón Bueno as minister of defence.