Things That Matter

The Colombian President And Congress Just Passed A Peace Deal The People Didn’t Want

The Colombian Congress has ratified a new peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) bypassing that voters.

@ajplus / Twitter
CREDIT: @ajplus / Twitter

The Colombian Senate ratified the revised peace deal in a 75 to zero vote. Just days later, the Colombian House of Representatives also ratified the peace deal with a vote of 130 to zero. Sounds like it is a pretty unanimous vote, however, opponents to the deal that are in the Congress abstained from voting. The abstaining votes gave the peace deal an easy path to ratification but members against the deal were vocal about their discontent. President Juan Manuel Santos and top FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño both signed the agreement on on Nov. 24 before it was sent to the Colombian Congress.

“On signing this agreement, as president of all Colombians, I want to invite all, with an open mind and open heart, to give peace a chance,” Santos said during the signing ceremony, according to The New York Times.

Colombians voted on a referendum on Oct. 2 and voters narrowly blocked the original peace deal with the rebel group. Colombia has been plagued with civil war for the past 52 years and, according to The Washington Post, the war has killed 220,000 people and displaced 7 million people in the South American country. Part of the new peace deal would allow for the rebel group to transition from violent revolutionary army to a political party.

President Santos wasted no time in applauding and congratulating the Congress for their action.


“Gratitude to Congress for its historic support of Colombians’ hope for peace.”


READ:  NOThese Female Rebels Are The Scariest In The Jungle

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Trump Tried To Bully Kamala Harris And She Clapped Back In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

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Trump Tried To Bully Kamala Harris And She Clapped Back In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

Kamala Harris / Instagram

P1: Kamala Harris may be out of the race, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to stay quiet. On Tuesday, the former Democratic Presidential Nominee clapped back on Instagram to a tweet Trump had aimed at her. The tough-as-nails former prosecutor has never been one to mince words when it comes to confronting bullies and haters. Who could forget that epic showdown she had with the snarky college student who asked her about gun control? But this time, Harris’s wrath is aimed at a more powerful for: the president. 

After announcing the suspension of her 2020 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Trump took to Twitter to lob a gloating comments Harris’s way. “Too bad,” he said. “We will miss you Kamala!”. Harris, for her part, wasted no time showing the president who’s boss. “Don’t worry, Mr. President,” she replied. “I’ll see you at your trial.”

Naturally, the internet exploded in glee over Harris’s quick-witted response.

As of Thursday, Harris’s viral tweet has racked up over 186,000 retweets, 44,000 comments and a whopping one million likes. Supporters and fans alike commented on her post with compliments like:”Best tweet ever” and “Omg the shade”. So, although many are disappointed that the once-front runner nominee of the Democratic primary will no longer be on the ballot, many are at least comforted by knowing that she has retained her trademark sense of humor

What’s not a laughing matter, however, is the trial that Harris was referring to. After Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the the House had “no choice” but to move forward with articles of impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee announced that its next impeachment hearing will be on December 9th. This comes after the The House Judiciary Committee released a 300-page report that detailed the relationship between Trump and Ukraine. So, as of now, Trump is on track to be the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached. 

The House has concluded that Trump, in the words of Pelosi, has “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival”. The political rival was Vice President Joe Biden, whom Trump viewed as a threat to his upcoming presidential campaign. 

Although Harris’s clap-back was funny, her withdrawal is still a loss for the presidential nominee pool that now falls woefully short on candidates of color. 

Harris, with her stellar resume, has long been a shining star in the Democratic Party. Not only was she both the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General, but she was also first South Asian-American and second African-American woman to serve in the Senate in US history. In other words: she is well-qualified to take on any job she tackles.

Both presidential candidates Cory Booker and Julian Castro blame the Democratic National Committee for not throwing their support behind candidates of color in the same way they do with white candidates. As of now, the DNC’s lineup of debate participants (and therefore more publicity), are all white: Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. “What message is that sending, that we heralded the most diverse field in our history, and now we’re seeing people like her dropping out of this campaign?” Booker told Politico. “Voters did not determine her destiny.” 

As for now, it’s nice to get some comfort from Harris’s unparalled talent at confronting bullies.

When Americans are forced to deal with realities as depressing as the 2020 campaign, you can’t blame them from grasping onto what little entertainment is presented to them.

This Twitter user thinks that Harris’s comeback was step above the usual “shade” throwing.

We’ll remember this description for later. 

This person believes that Harris should win an award for her clap-back.

We would love to be able to hand her a medal for this shade. 

This person kindly pointed out whose tweet had the more likes and retweets–despite Trump having 67 million followers compared to Harris’s 3 million followers.

You might even venture to think that Harris’s followers are more passionate than Trump’s. Hmm…

This man is a man of few words, but we concur with his sentiment

As always, we stan a queen. And Kamala Harris is definitely one of them. We’re pretty sure she’ll continue to serve the American people for a long time to come. 

Colombians Are Starting To Turn On Venezuelan Refugees In Their Country And Here’s Why

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Colombians Are Starting To Turn On Venezuelan Refugees In Their Country And Here’s Why

A Cubillo / Photo Alliance

Colombia and Venezuela have long had a close relationship in terms of culture, financial cooperation and migratory patterns. The recent years of economic struggle in Venezuela, product of the Chavista policies instituted by both the late Hugo Chavez and incumbent president Nicolas Maduro, added to US economic sanctions, have triggered a mass migration towards Colombia and other neighboring countries. Added to escalating prices for even the most basic commodities, shortage in basic services such as water, gas and electricity, and what international bodies have deemed as State repression, Venezuelans, particularly in the capital city of Caracas, have had to survive on criminal activity that does not only target the rich, but also those most vulnerable. 

It is estimated that as many as a million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years. This is a massive number if we consider that the overall population of the country is roughly 31 million. While some of the richest Venezuelans have migrated to cities such as Miami and Tampa in the United States, or countries like Australia and Canada, economic migrants and refugees have looked at the neighboring Colombia as a new home. While most Colombians have been accommodating, understanding that forced exile is born out of need and not wickedness, there is an increasing number who is feeling frustrated with the current situation and are blaming Venezuelan migrants for it. Remember, when things go wrong human beings tend to blame those who are different. 

The protests in Colombia highlighted the social and economic problems being faced by the country.

Credit: Al Jazeera Latin America

The recent wave of protests in Colombia, particularly in the capital city of Bogota, have put the spotlight on the socioeconomic differences that have made society increasingly polarized. The crackdown on unions, students and activists has also brought attention to the increasingly repressive methods of the Ivan Duque presidency.

Added to this, violence against vulnerable groups is increasing, as reported by Al Jazeera: “Tension has been simmering for months amid discontent over inequality, education and Duque’s slow implementation of a 2016 peace deal, which was signed between the previous government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and brought an end to 50 years of fighting. More than 750 indigenous leaders and human rights activists have been killed in Colombia over the past two years, according to local think-tank INDEPAZ.”

The current climate is ripe for a conflict that could last for years if all the involved parties fail to reach even the most basic of agreements. Frustration is running high. And we know that frustration is usually a trigger for discrimination.

So some people are blaming the increased influx of Venezuelan migrants and refugees.

In a recent article published by Reuters, a side effect of the conflicted political climate in Colombia was brought to attention: the growing discrimination against Venezuelan migrants.

In the article, a young Venezuelan called Daniels Herrera told journalist Steven Grattan how he and other migrants have heard people blame Venezuelans for the Colombia’s troubles, claiming that it is Venezuelans who run the country. This has made Herrera and others like him feel unsafe even if coming from Caracas, by all accounts one of the most dangerous cities in the world. They have decided to remain silent, speak as little as possible so their accent won’t give them away.

This basically leads to situations such as the one that African and Middle Eastern refugees are living in Europe, where xenophobia is high and a cruel reminder of the division that led unspeakable atrocities during the Second World War.  

Discrimination is a quick slippery slope.

The Reuters article explains that the looting and vandalism that has been triggered by the protests is now being blamed on Venezuelan migrants, which of course has gotten the most conservative members of Colombian society all riled up. They have been quick to point fingers, as Reuters argues: “Non-governmental organizations and researchers say rumors blaming Venezuelan migrants for isolated looting and vandalism connected to the protests have caused a sharp rise in xenophobia over the last 10 days. Posts on social media and messages forwarded on messaging application WhatsApp – many mentioning Venezuelans – stoked panic among Bogota residents on the night of the curfew, as the city’s emergency line was inundated with calls reporting residential break-ins that police say never happened.”

Discrimination and panic are fires that are hard to put out once they start burning. Now Venezuelans are fearful that they will become the scapegoats for whatever goes wrong in Colombia. Discrimination starts on the street level, as part of everyday talk, but can very rapidly become instituted in policies that result in unfair judicial processes and policing that singles out individuals due to their accent or physical appearance. Does this sound familiar to those Latinos living in the United States, where Brown and Black folk are often targeted by the authorities?