As a prelude to the visit of President Gustavo Petro to Spain, we had a ministerial shake-up in Colombia. Cabinet changes that generated multiple opinions and questions about what the government would be like from now on. Days after said episode, the Spanish politician Pablo Iglesias made an “analysis” of how the media had reacted in our country to these changes. In his observations it is evident that, despite having spent 200 years, in the DNA of the Iberians there are traces of the colonial era, even in those who consider themselves progressive and “brothers” of this administration.
After his resignation from the government of Pedro Sánchez, and after having failed in his attempt to become mayor of Madrid, Iglesias decided in 2021 to open a YouTube channel that sells itself as a left-wing outlet that seeks to be an alternative to the media bloc of the dominant right in the press. On this digital channel, he is accompanied by activists of the same line, such as the Russian Inna Afinogenova, who worked at RT (a medium financed by the Russian government) and who is mainly remembered for mocking until the last second American intelligence that warned that Putin would invade Ukraine.
Through this digital platform, with a certain conquistador’s sarcasm, they commented for about an hour on how the media in Colombia had covered the news of the cabinet changes of the Petro government. Reading a prompter and making mistakes when pronouncing the names of the ministers, this group of digital commentators, led by the Spanish politician, showed how from Europe, even among those who consider themselves progressive, indigenous and defenders of minorities, still there is a clear colonial touch.
The criticism is valid and necessary. However, when it is done using a tone of moral superiority from a distance and in complete ignorance of the facts that are being discussed, it is offensive and shows that still in Spain there are those who believe that Latin America is incapable of deciding its own future and, therefore, This must be oriented from the Mediterranean by those who are truly ‘enlightened’ to lead the strings of our nations.
The political situation required an in-depth analysis of the clear ideological changes between the old and the new president’s cabinet, since the break in the government coalition has undoubtedly led to an administration more in line with the Historical Pact. This situation created a wide margin for our Spanish colleagues to demonstrate their interest and knowledge of Colombian politics and to comment on the political effects that this change may bring. However, they opted for a superficial mockery, where in the absence of relevant arguments, they ironized from their moral superiority with colonialist airs over their fellow Colombian journalists.
The plurality of opinions is necessary in a democracy. And the diversity in the information we receive is essential to prevent the emergence of more authoritarian political regimes. That is why criticism of journalists will always be welcome. But said criticism is hopefully respectful, level and deep analysis, and not recalling dark times that we live in the American continent because the conquerors believed themselves superior. Ladies and gentlemen, the independence of our nations took place more than 200 years ago!