Democracy Dialogues: A conversation with Iván Duque

The Colombian president spoke with Eric Farnsworth about the Summit of the Americas and U.S.-Colombian relations. 


  • Iván Duque, President of Colombia
  • Eric Farnsworth, AS/COA Vice President

Ahead of leaders gathering in Los Angeles for the Ninth Summit of the Americas, Colombian President Iván Duque spoke with AS/COA's Eric Farnsworth about the Summit of the Americas and the future of U.S.-Colombian relations at a time when the countries celebrate 200 years of diplomatic relations. In this episode of AS/COA's Democracy Dialogues series, Duque discussed the unique nature of Colombian democracy and how the electoral process has matured over the years with the adoption of technology to inspire electoral faith. Speaking broadly, Duque covered how fake news and populism threatens democracy in the region.

Regarding the Summit of the Americas, Duque said he believes the Summit should remain a forum for democratically elected leaders, voicing support for not inviting Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. "They can't access the club because it is a mechanism for democratic countries to debate about future policies," he told Farnsworth.

With respect to Beijing, he views the country as a trading partner and friend. "Colombia is the United States' number one strategic ally in the Western Hemisphere, but we also have diplomatic ties with China," noted President Duque, adding: "Our core values and principles have been aligned with the United States for many years." In response to a question on the lessons learned on democracy promotion, the president said Colombia has built a bipartisan relationship with Washington, receiving support from members from both Republicans and Democrats parties. "Having the right bilateral relationships based on values and principles is a trigger of the mobilization of resources, but the policies we've been able to build over the years made Colombia pass from a democracy that was on the brink of a failed state 20 years ago to now being the 37th member of the OECD," said Duque.