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Colombia’s New President, Ivan Duque, Offers a Fresh Start for the Country

Colombia, for many years Washington’s closest Latin American ally, has a new president-elect, Iván Duque. The early signs are very encouraging, if a bit uncertain. Colombians—and Americans—can breathe a sigh of relief that Duque has triumphed over his chief rival, left-wing politician Gustavo Petro, a staunch supporter of neighboring Venezuelan strongman Nicholas Maduro.

A strong, pro-liberty government in Colombia could help in keeping pressure on the failed Maduro regime while undermining the rationale for U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, a foolhardy proposal allegedly considered last summer by President Trump.

At 41, Duque represents a new generation, one mostly foreign to the ideological struggles brought about by the narco-terrorist guerrillas that waged war on the state for half a century and the paramilitary groups that were part of that scene.

Although his candidacy sprang from former president Álvaro Uribe’s right-leaning Democratic Center party, Duque is unburdened by the baggage many associate with “Uribismo.” He holds of degrees from Georgetown and American University, has worked at multilateral organizations, is the author of several books on politics and economic policy, and was an advisor to the finance minister back when Juan Manuel Santos, the outgoing president, held that position.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa is Senior Fellow at The Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute. He is a native of Peru and received his B.Sc. in international history from the London School of Economics. His Independent Institute books include Global Crossings: Immigration, Civilization, and America, Lessons From the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, and Liberty for Latin America.

From Alvaro Vargas Llosa
GLOBAL CROSSINGS: Immigration, Civilization, and America
The erosion of national boundaries—and even the idea of the nation state—is already underway as people become ever more inter-connected across borders. A jungle of myth, falsehood and misrepresentation dominates the debate over immigration. The reality is that the economic contributions of immigration far outweigh the costs.