En concreto, ¿qué significa que Colombia tenga estatus de aliado fuera de la Otan? / Biden to grant Colombia special non-NATO ally status after Duque meeting

Este jueves, la administración de Joe Biden confirmó la versión que anticipó este diario de que el presidente aprovechó su cita con el mandatario colombiano Iván Duque para anunciar su intención de declarar a Colombia Aliado Principal extra-Otán o MNNA, por su sigla en inglés.

Por Sergio Gómez Maseri | EL TIEMPO

Biden transmitió a su homólogo colombiano este proyecto, un estatus especial que conlleva privilegios económicos y militares, y la cual solo tienen otros 17 países en el mundo. El siguiente paso es notificar al Congreso estadounidense la decisión.

De acuerdo con una ley de mediados de los años 80, el presidente debe informar al Congreso 30 días antes de formalizar la decisión.

Se trata de una designación muy relevante especialmente en el contexto de la crisis mundial que desató la invasión de Rusia a Ucrania y que tiene muchas implicaciones en temas de seguridad y defensa.

Aunque el MNNA no contempla una cláusula de defensa mutua como sucede con los miembros de la Otán, sí otorga al país designado una serie de ventajas militares y financieras que no poseen otros países. Pero, sobre todo, representa un claro signo de cercanía en las relaciones bilaterales.

Es algo, además, que también quieren en el Congreso. De hecho, este miércoles se presentó en el Senado una legislación bipartidista que busca el mismo objetivo.

Aunque el Congreso también tiene esa potestad, el camino por la vía ejecutiva es más expedito pues el presidente tiene el poder para designar a un país de manera unilateral luego de una recomendación de los departamentos de Estado y Defensa y tras la consulta legislativa.

US to designate Colombia as major non-NATO ally, Biden says

Biden to grant Colombia special non-NATO ally status after Duque meeting

WASHINGTON/BOGOTA, March 10 (Reuters) – President Joe Biden told Colombian President Ivan Duque on Thursday he plans to designate Colombia as a major non-NATO ally, granting the strategic status to a key country in a turbulent region as the United States seeks to isolate Russia.

In White House talks, Biden and Duque said they would work toward signing a regional migration agreement at the Summit of the Americas in June in Los Angeles. Colombia is currently home to 1.9 million migrants from neighboring Venezuela.

Major non-NATO ally status is a designation bestowed by the United States to close allies that have strategic working relationships with Washington but are not members of NATO. Argentina gained this status in 1998 and Brazil in 2019.

“Colombia is the linchpin” in the Southern Hemisphere, Biden told Duque.

The two leaders gave no details on the shape of the expected framework on migration. The United States has struggled to contend with thousands of migrants seeking asylum on its southern border with Mexico.

Their meeting took place days after secret negotiations between senior U.S. officials and representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arranged the release of two American detainees. The move had raised eyebrows in Colombia, which has tense relations with Venezuela.

There was no sign of any tension in their public remarks. Both presidents condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Duque said Colombia was offering assistance to countries in that region on handling the mass of people evacuating “the bloodbath” in Ukraine.

Asked about the contacts between the United States and Maduro representatives after the meeting, Duque told reporters, “I’m not going to start questioning” U.S. policy.

“We will maintain our same foreign policy, condemning the dictatorship, calling Nicolas Maduro what he is, a criminal who has committed crimes against humanity, and we will continue to support our Venezuelan brothers in Colombia with fraternity,” Duque said.

The U.S. delegation’s weekend visit to Venezuela and talks with Maduro focused on the fate of the detained Americans and the possibility of easing U.S. oil sanctions on OPEC member Venezuela to fill a supply gap if Biden banned Russian oil imports – something he did on Tuesday. read more

Venezuela is Russia’s closest ally in South America, and the United States is gauging whether the country would distance itself from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Maduro’s management of Venezuela has caused a humanitarian crisis that has affected Colombia.

Duque’s visit came ahead of legislative elections and presidential primaries in Colombia on Sunday, where several left-leaning candidates have floated changes to the cornerstone of the U.S.-Colombia relationship – the fight against drug trafficking.

Duque, who will leave office in August, came under sustained pressure from the Trump administration to decrease cultivation of coca, the base ingredient in cocaine. Colombia has long been a top producer of the drug, despite billions in U.S. funds meant to combat it. By Steve Holland and Julia Symmes Cobb