The president of United States, Joe Biden, will send Colombian Juan González, its most important official for Latin America, on a visit to Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay. The Cartagena, who holds the position of director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the National Security Council of the White House, will visit these three countries between April 11 and 15 with the main diplomat for the region of the State Department, Julie Chung . This is the first official trip for officials to South America.
Through a statement from the spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Emily Horne, details of the officers’ agenda were known: “In Bogotá, they will discuss economic recovery, security and rural development, the Venezuelan migratory crisis and regional climate leadership. from Colombia. In Argentina and Uruguay, they will discuss regional priorities, including addressing the challenges of the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic and threats to democracy, human rights, and security in our hemisphere and around the world. ” .
Who is Juan González?
González was born in Cartagena, where he lived until he was seven years old. In a profile published by the newspaper El Espectador, he says that he grew up playing soccer on the Castillo Grande beach, when it was not so visited by tourists.
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“At some point my mother encouraged my father to move to the United States, because she wanted to give us a much more international life experience. And, although my father initially preferred to stay working at Ecopetrol, where he had a very good career, they took the risk, sold everything and we traveled in 1983 ″, González Román said.
González was educated in New York. A graduate of Georgetown University, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.
In the profile published in the Colombian newspaper, he assures that in 2004 he began his journey to fulfill his dream of working in the United States government. He advanced his master’s degree at Georgetown University and at the same time worked in the State Department, in the Colombia office.
“I started in a super junior position while studying at Georgetown. I would arrive as early as possible, when they allowed entry first thing in the morning, and as soon as I finished my duties I would run to the university. After night classes I stayed studying in the library. This is how nearly three years of dedicated work and study went “, the Cartagena commented.
He was climbing until he got to work with Republicans for the George W. Bush administration. “I was responsible for organizing his trip to Cartagena and my potential was recognized there. Then I was appointed junior advisor to Undersecretary Thomas Shannon, an incredible opportunity from which I learned a lot, ”read El Espectador.
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He later held roles related to the region during the administrations of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.. He was deputy assistant to the secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, and special advisor to Biden and director of the National Security Council for Latin America.
González continued to work for Democrats after Obama’s second term ended. In 2017, the party’s Senate caucus leader Chuck Schumer appointed him to the Western Hemisphere bipartisan commission for narcotics policy. He also represented the Biden campaign in a joint task force with Bernie Sanders on immigration issues.
In an interview with Infobae In October 2020, before the presidential elections, González outlined what would be the Biden administration’s policy with the region. “You are going to work with countries that are ready to go and that are ambitious. The countries that are ready will have a natural ally in Joe Biden”, He assured.
González was also very critical of Donald Trump’s policy towards Latin America: “has been defined in part by an electoral strategy in South Florida with no real regard for the future of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and on the other hand for an anti-Hispanic and racist immigration policy to please the xenophobic base of the president ”.
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Regarding the Venezuelan crisis, González remarked that it is “It is impossible to ignore that Nicolás Maduro is now a dictator, who has lost all legitimacy due to the suffering he has inflicted on the Venezuelan people”.
In turn, he assured that “it is unacceptable that millions of Venezuelans have to flee their country in order to eat, and that Maduro remains in power” and that it is “time to take responsibility.” “The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is the fault of those who run that country. To say that there is nothing wrong with the political system in Venezuela is to be naive or not want to admit reality”, He defined.