A group of US congressmen led by Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez completed an eight-day tour of Latin America on Monday. During their trip, MPs met Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogotá, marking the beginning of a “strategic alliance” around crucial issues such as climate change and regional stability.
The congressmen, representing the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party, had previously held meetings with prominent left-wing leaders in the region, including Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva and Chile’s Gabriel Boric. The visit to Colombia marked a culmination in this series of meetings with Petro, who viewed the meeting as a step towards building a strategic alliance for the benefit of humanity and the environment.
The US delegation shared their vision that the United States must play an active role in solving the climate crisis. Petro expressed that despite the conflicted history between both countries, it is important to build relationships that foster collective solutions. Nydia Velázquez (New York), one of the congressmen, stressed that this is an opportune moment for the progressive movement in the United States to pay more attention to Latin America and that climate change could strengthen the relationship.
While recognizing the potential of this alliance, Petro also pointed to difficulties, such as bureaucratic hurdles in the United States, that hamper his proposal to swap debt for environmental services.
Ocasio-Cortez, a 33-year-old congresswoman known for her far-left positions in the party and political involvement, was the center of attention during the tour. Because of her Puerto Rican descent, she has gone from being a waitress in New York to an influential representative in Washington. He has been a leading voice on issues such as immigration reform and economic equality. During her stay in Colombia, Ocasio-Cortez stressed the importance of understanding “the entire history of the South American country,” beyond the stereotypes surrounding drug trafficking and violence.
The congressional delegation, made up of Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Ibero-American descent, has called for a change in US foreign policy towards Latin America. They questioned their country’s role in regional instability and expressed a desire to hear “Latin American perspectives” on common challenges such as the rise of the far right and threats to democracy.
This visit, organized by the Center for Economic and Political Research (CEPR) in Washington, represents an attempt to strengthen ties between the United States and Latin America on important issues such as climate change and promoting regional stability. The participation of progressive congressmen has highlighted the importance of a collaborative approach and a shift in US foreign policy towards the region. @mundiario