“we take the path of fraternity,” President Iván Duque of Colombia

Would that we could be like Colombia, like us, Venezuela’s near neighbor, who is offering Citizenship to some 24,000 new born children of Venezuelan Refugees.

Unlike PresidentTrump who would wall off our southern border with Mexico President Iván Duque of Colombia would “open bridges” for the refugees to enter his country. Imagine instead of a wall separating us from the countries of the South, imagine bridges such as in the picture bringing the refugées to us.

Venezuelans crossing into Colombia, which has announced that it will give citizenship to children of Venezuelan refugees born in Colombia.
Venezuelans crossing into Colombia, which has announced that it will give citizenship to children of Venezuelan refugees born in Colombia.
CreditCreditFernando Vergara/Associated Press

But just as Donald Trump is without knowledge of the world, so is he without imagination, not to mention generosity, decency, sympathy. Now it seems to me that Trump is almost to be pitied for not having realized that what he wants most of all, to be re-elected in 2020, could happen, could still happen, if he were to experience his own Road to Damascus.* In the picture below our president doesn’t look well. Has he reached the end of his presidency?

To be Pitied?

*The Road to Damascus refers to a sudden turning point in one’s life. It’s in reference to the conversion to Christianity of the apostle Paul while literally on the road to Damascus from Jerusalem. Prior to that moment, he had been called Saul, and was a Pharisee who persecuted followers of Jesus.

But given Trump’s well proven character of white supremacy ideology there is probably not much chance of his conversion to what, tolerance? ever happening. One can only imagine a Trump, instead of spewing hateful bigoted words in his tweets, suddenly leaving his tweets behind, in a past not to be visited again or ever “restored”, and instead of building a wall between us a series of bridges into our country from Mexico in the South. What if he were to get behind, say, Trump bridges instead of the usual lineup of Trump Towers and Trump gold courses? Others, other than his own also to be pitied evangelical and white supremacist base, might then begin to vote for him.

I take the following few passages from the article in the Times, “Colombia Offers Citizenship to 24,000 Children of Venezuelan Refugees.” by Anatoly Kurmanaev and Jenny Carolina González, of August 5, ‘2019:

Colombia will give citizenship to more than 24,000 undocumented children of Venezuelan refugees born in the country. “Today Colombia we take the path of fraternity,” President Iván Duque of Colombia said in a speech announcing the measure in Bogotá, the capital, on Monday.

The Trump administration, which has made toppling Venezuela’s authoritarian president, Nicolás Maduro, a foreign policy priority, has not granted the country’s refugees protected status.

About four million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years to escape food shortages, blackouts and hyperinflation caused by the country’s catastrophic economic collapse — the largest migratory crisis in the region’s history, according to the United Nations. Neighboring Colombia has borne the brunt of the exodus, receiving about 1.4 million Venezuelans, according to the Colombian government.

Colombia has bucked the trend, keeping its borders open to Venezuelan migrants despite growing pressure on social services and an increasing number of xenophobic outbreaks. Colombian officials have argued that closing its porous 1,400-mile border with Venezuela will only boost human trafficking and provide new revenue streams to guerrillas and armed gangs operating in those areas.

“No country should have kids growing up without access to health care and education, or a chance of a decent life,” said Andrew Selee, the president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, who closely studies Colombian migration. “Colombia has found a way of dealing with that.”


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