By Jessie Ramsey, ABC
Socialism strikes again.
The people of the country of Colombia is currently in the midst of a crisis. The armed forces and national police force have cracked down on a national protest, killing (as of now) 17 people and injuring over 800 according to a report by The Jamaican Observer. Background: Colombia was hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. before the pandemic hit, the government of Colombia was wasteful with the national budget money. They couldn't control their spending, prompting international loan requests from many other nations including China. When the Pandemic hit, the government shut down the economy, forcing many of it's citizens into unemployment, and driving up the unemployment rates to over 21%. The resulting loss of tax revenue from shuttered businesses and losses of wages created a fiscal hole, and on April 15, 2021, president Ivan Duque proposed a $6.4 billion tax reform plan. Included in this plan was a raise in the VAT for common goods and basic necessities. On April 28th, the people took to the streets in protest, feeling that it was unjust to raise VAT taxes on food and common necessities at a time when the population was still reeling from the shuttering of businesses and resulting loss of jobs. "We reached the worst unemployment rate with this current government and even so they want to charge us more for basic food to cover a fiscal gap they made due to the pandemic", An anonymous source on the ground writes to me.
On May first (day 3 of the protests), President Duque sent in the national police and Colombian Army to quell the demonstration, in violation of Article 37 of the Colombian Constitution. Videos taken on the ground show the reality of the National Police force clashing with unarmed protesters:
Colombia's people are being attacked by a tyrant who is trying to bleed them dry to pay back a debt to China, among others. This is the result of a socialist dictator hell bent on squeezing the last drops of resources from his own people to satisfy socialist and communist regimes around the world. The Colombian people deserve better than to targeted for murder for the mere practice of protesting the unjust. I call on Joe Biden and his administration to do the right thing and send humanitarian aid to the people of Colombia in this time of crisis.