“The attempt to restrict the reforms can lead to revolution. What is needed is for the people to be mobilized”, said the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, this Monday (01/05) while speaking during Labor Day.
With difficulties in advancing the reforms he promised during the campaign in Congress, which range from reducing private participation in health to redistributing unproductive land, Petro said that winning the elections is not enough, that “social change implies a permanent struggle” of society.
The president stated that this fight only happens with the “mobilized people”, who must have “youth and workers” on their front line.
“Don’t leave us alone in these huge and cold palaces. Don’t leave us alone in front of these privileged people. This is the moment for changes and we must not retreat”, said Petro, asking that Colombians take to the streets for social transformations in the country.
Still in the speech given at Casa de Nariño, seat of government in Bogotá, the Colombian capital, Petro recalled that it was the demonstrations and strikes in Colombia against former president Iván Duque that put him in power. “Thanks to that struggle, I’m here,” he said, pointing out that that “social outbreak” boosted the need for change in the country.
“We will not go one meter more or one meter less than what the people want. But it takes a working class that wants to govern”, declared the president, inviting workers to be the “first line of struggles for the transformations of Colombia”.
May 1. The discourse of the great social reform. pic.twitter.com/7uN9kCxjda
— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) May 1, 2023
Petro’s speech comes after changes in the ministerial cabinet. Last week, the president, in a nationally televised broadcast, announced that he had called for the resignation of all his ministers, calling for what he called an “emergency government”.
The measure was taken after centrist parties that supported the government showed signs that they would vote against four of the reforms pushed by Petro. For him, this “emergency government” would be a management loyal to the reforms that the Executive seeks approval in Congress.
In addition to the resignation, Petro had also declared the end of the coalition with the Liberal, Conservative and Union for the People parties, parties that supported the president from the second round of the presidential elections, in June 2022, and won positions in the government after the lawsuit.
With the announcement of the change, seven ministers were changed: in the Ministry of the Interior, Finance, Agriculture, Health, Communications, Transport and Science and Technology. The new chief of staff of the Presidency of the Republic was also announced.
Despite the request for the resignation of all ministers, only those who are militants of the three center parties effectively left their positions.