Carlos Alberto Montaner: Why Petro’s experiment in Colombia will go wrong – El Líbero

Petro’s experiment in Colombia will go horribly wrong. Mario Vargas Llosa has said it with all his letters. Colombians voted wrong. Also the Peruvians, and the Argentines and the Mexicans. Voting for the worst option is within everyone’s reach. Mario is an excellent writer, Nobel Prize winner in 2010, but he is not the Oracle of Delphi, nor does he try to appear so.

Why can something so pessimistic be assured? Petro has just won an election against a picturesque old man who dyed his remaining locks. Most have given him a good boost.

A few days after assuming power, if he narrowly beat Rodolfo Hernández, former mayor of Bucaramanga, today he enjoys the broad support of 64% of Colombians. (Colombians are not opportunists, but rather behave like other peoples: they tilt hopefully towards the winner in the last general elections).

Let us assume that Petro is an intelligent man and that he is full of good intentions. Colombians obviously want to put the violence behind them and have elected the first president from the left. After all, he was a 17-year-old boy when he was a member of the M-19. At that age they do a lot of stupid things. At the age of 19, Mario Vargas Llosa was a member of the Peruvian Communist Party. Petro wants to end poverty and the corruption that has afflicted Colombians since time immemorial. Can he?

I do not think so. It is opposed by two or three fundamental notions related to perceptions. Petro remains a guerrilla in the eyes hardened by the experience of the right. Many people hold him responsible for the kidnapping of children, the rape of girls and boys, thousands of murders, the displacement of two or three million peasants, the destruction of a good part of the material wealth of the nation and, ultimately, , of having been a lousy manager of Bogotá, the city that gave him the mayor’s office. The general consensus is that he was a lousy mayor, but a good parliamentarian.

There is no longer the division between capitalism -private company plus market- and socialism. Experience tells us that socialism, the closer it got to communism, the more it failed intensely. Perhaps it is that it has not been possible to create a reliable model.

Chinese communism, between metaphors that referred to cats, very Chinese, led to a single-party dictatorship plus “entrepreneurship.” Russian communism had another derivation: “buddy-capitalism”. To prosper in Russia, they resorted to gangsterism.

Petro intends to count on his adversaries to create wealth. He tries to recruit the big and medium businessmen. Without their investment and that of foreign companies, there will be no overcoming of poverty. And that money will flow abroad, to more hospitable markets.

That is the story of Miami. It feeds on the failures of Latin America. There is already a swarm of Miami bankers, some of them of Colombian origin, requesting the money saved by the businessmen.

Namely, there will be no “money to create more money” in Colombiadue to the fact that the capitalists perceive Petro as an enemy of free enterprise and the market, and practice and recommend staying on the lookout for what is going to happen in Colombia in the medium term.

What is the Colombian “medium term”? Nobody knows. But, without a doubt, it is an elastic concept that will last as long as the prophecy that “Petro is the same Petro as always”. Unless Petro realizes the situation and declares himself pro-market and pro-free enterprise, but taking the necessary measures to be credible.

Frankly, I would be surprised if Petro started a really pro-capitalist government. That would be asking for pears from the elm tree.

*Carlos Alberto Montaner is a journalist and writer.

We would love to say thanks to the author of this post for this remarkable web content

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Why Petro’s experiment in Colombia will go wrong – El Líbero