Uribe talks Georgetown, protests, and Colombia in first interview since leaving office

Earlier this week, Álvaro Uribe, former president of Colombia and current-Distinguished Scholar in the School of Foreign Service, sat down with the Voice‘s Cole Stangler. The full interview can be found in this week’s Voice, but we’ve got a few of the highlights below.

On the protests against his hiring:

I was surprised by the weakness of the protests. In the contrary, I am motivated and impressed by the great number of students that have approached me to express their support.

I have confronted numerous protests against my policies during my career, but over the years I have seen a decline in their number due to my consistent devotion to work with absolute transparency and my open commitment for constructive and respectful debate. Therefore, [it] didn’t surprise [me]. What has surprised me was the kind reception by the vast majority of the students.

On the “pact of honor” he allegedly asked students to sign:

There was no “pact of honor”. I am accustomed to saying in private what should be said in public. Therefore I want to take advantage of this question to deliver this message to the students—in accordance with my own experience, it is very important to say in private only what you are able to say in public. This has been a rule [throughout] my political career.

On teaching at Georgetown:

So far, I have been invited to different classes in the fields of comparative political systems and economics. I have shared with the students my views on matters such as political and economic risks in Latin American, government systems in the region and trade trends in the Americas. For the next semester I’m preparing classes that can cover specific items, such as politics, economics, governance, international relations, and leadership.

Photo: Max Blodgett

2 Comments on “Uribe talks Georgetown, protests, and Colombia in first interview since leaving office

  1. It just came out in the Colombian press 4 days ago (http://elespectador.com/noticias/judicial/video-224132-mas-chuzadas-del-das) that the wire-tapping scandal was directly linked to the Presidential palace under Uribe. Each day, we get more and more information about Uribe being directly involved in illegal activities.

    Back in the 1908s, according the US Defense Intelligence Agency report, Uribe was the 82nd most wanted Colombian for narco-ties. Yet, when this came out, the Uribe administration said that the report was inconclusive and that it was brought up for political reasons.

    Is there really more to say? Do we really need to listen to someone who has absolutely no regard for decency and the law? What example is Georgetown setting?

  2. “I love democracy. Transparency gets me up in the morning. Dead bodies? Mass graves? No. Those were planted as part of a narco-terrorist inspired plot. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, other human rights organizations – they know NOTHING about human rights. I DO. I am an authoritarian on human rights.

    I have facts on human rights in Colombia too. One, Colombia is not Sudan. Sudan is in Africa. Second, there are not 5 million displaced in Colombia. I didn´t look into it, but there aren´t FIVE million. Two, a lot of human rights defenders are actually terrorists. Seventh, the future is bright for Colombia, and it’s all because of me.

    We respect our opponents. Especially those that agree with us. Colombia has no civil war. It is peaceful in certain parts of certain cities. The indigenous are liars. The afrocolombian groups are liars. I mean, why the divisions? We are all just Colombians and we love freedom and transparency. That is why my government spied on judges, opponents, human rights terrorists and journalists. So that we could be transparent about their private conversations.

    Those that speak out against me, well they do not understand my truths.

    Protesters? Ha. That is nothing. I’ve made backroom deals with narcos and paramilitaries for over 30 years. I mean, I made transparent deals with them in public. Yes in public I say same as private.”

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