Colombian far-left President Gustavo Petro used his time at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to proclaim that the “times of extinction” have begun and predict that billions of migrants will soon join a climate “exodus.”
In addition to the ominous doomsday scenario he narrated, Petro dismissed the world’s focus on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, asking, “What’s the difference between Ukraine and Palestine?” Petro also once again made calls to “reform” world finance, push towards “decarbonized capitalism,” and decriminalize drugs.
“The crisis of life expresses itself in a terrifying indicator [that] it has started from afar, from the farthest corners of the planet, from the last places,” Petro narrated. “A silent march of people, of different cultures that mix on the roads like a painting of infinite shades. The colors are mixing in an unstoppable march, a multitude of all the colors advances by trails, by seas, by jungles configuring a kind of work of art on the canvas of the earth.”
“A fluid of all, sounds, of different clothes and cultures amalgamate without losing their beginnings in a great march from the South to the North,” Petro continued. “It is the exodus of humanity that has begun.”
“Today there are tens of millions. Tomorrow, according to science, in the year 2070 there will be 3 billion fleeing,” he continued, claiming that, in 2070, there will only be “deserts” in Colombia due to climate change.
“People will head north, no longer attracted by the sequins of wealth, but by something simpler and more vital: water,” Gustavo Petro proclaimed, adding that “billions” will “defy” armies and change Earth.
The far-left president assured that the “exodus” of people to northern nations “accurately measures” the dimension of the failure of governments, without mentioning any country in particular. He condemned unnamed countries that had allegedly used “dogs” and “horsemen with whips and chains on their hands” to chase migrants away.
“They have grown so much in their hatred of the foreigner, the stranger, that prisons have been placed in the sea, so that the men and women of the south do not step on the lands of the whites who still consider themselves the superior race and, nostalgic, revive in their elections the leader who said so and killed millions for it,” he said. He did not name the leader, though it appeared to be a reference to Adolf Hitler, which he recently referenced while insulting libertarian Argentine presidential frontrunner Javier Milei.
Petro lamented that humanity is not thinking about “how to expand life in the stars, but how to end it on our own planet.”
The far-left Colombian president went on to ask, “what’s the difference between Ukraine and Palestine?” after asserting that the “same reasons that are expressed to defend [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky apply to Palestinians. Petro claimed an unnamed “world power” helped start the war because it was convenient for its “Game of Thrones” and “Hunger Games.”
Petro urged the United Nations to host two peace conferences, one on Ukraine, and one on Palestine, as this would “teach how to do peace in all regions of the planet.”
Petro also proposed to end war and “reform the world financial system,” including organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), end sanctions on human rights abusing regimes, and “guide” private funds as a way to avert the climate doomsday scenario.
“The great battle of our generation, to defend life, this can only be done from the public sphere,” Petro claimed. “Let the echo of the public, of the State, of humanity, of multilateralism resound again. Let the word change resound, an era of change is required, change and life are synonyms today.”
Much like his 2022 United Nations speech, Petro also dedicated a portion of his speech to defend the decriminalization of drugs such as cocaine and cannabis, claiming that fentanyl is the “result” of prohibiting drug use.
“And by arresting peasant cannabis and coca leaf growers — instead of facing the loneliness in which the youth of their own countries live — the countries of the greatest economic and military power in the history of mankind have then turned to the drugs of death, to fentanyl,” Petro said.
“They wanted a war against the drugs of the rebellious youth who opposed the Vietnam War, the marijuana and LSD of the hippies, and they ended up driving their society to the drug of neoliberalism and competition, the drug of the Manhattan yuppie, cocaine,” he continued. “And they locked up millions of blacks and Latinos in cold privatized prisons and killed a million Latin Americans and destroyed democracies in our America.”
“They never caught the Manhattan yuppie in jail, and now they are facing the result of the great drug prohibition, fentanyl, which no longer kills 4,000 but 100,000 young people a year in the United States,” he claimed.
Petro concluded his speech by hoping that his three grandchildren and youngest daughter are able to “live away from the apocalypse and the times of extinction,” wishing that they live in a time when mankind has managed to “spread the virus of life across the universe’s stars.”
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.