Madame Vice President Francia Marque was elected to the second highest post in Columbia on Sunday 19, June, 2022. Columbia, is a North-Western South American republic sandwiched between Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. She has become the first elected Afro-Columbian female to be elected Vice President. This vibrant and feisty forty year old, is not your typical politician. A Black, single mother at 16, an environmentalist and human rights activist she is as unconventional as they come. In a nation of 48 million people she represents hope for change in what was South America’s most politically conservative country. The country has for the first time elected a progressive President, Gustavo Petro, a former M-19 guerrilla, former mayor of Bogota, Columbia’s capital city and a current senator. Madam Francia Marque, his running mate, also represents the hopes of ten million Afro-Columbians, the fourth largest black population outside of Africa. Like many South American countries, the descendants of slaves have had to face extraordinary racial and social discrimination outside the limelight of the western media’s attention. Afro-Columbians are looking for peace from the protracted war with leftist guerrillas, protection of their land and mineral rights from greedy mining interests and social inclusion after centuries of racial, economic and political marginalisation. Our wishes and prayers for the new Columbian government is that their popularity at the polls would indeed present greater access to education, health care, descent housing and employment opportunities. The Petro-led government will face tremendous pressure from internal forces seeking immediate change to their dire circumstances and external political forces including the United States of America who have historically been suspicion of left wing progressive governments. We look forward to the presence and influence of change agents such as of Kamala Harris, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados and Madame Vice-President of Columbia, Francia Marque on the international political stage. Ronald A. Nathan, World Politics Editor and Senior Minister of Hoggard AME Zion Church, Jackson, St. Michael, Barbados.
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