Guest Opinion: Russia in 2016—Colombia in 2020?
Much was made of Russia in November 2016 after Donald Trump won the election for president of the United States against most of the forecasts of that time, acceding to the White House by the Electoral College vote even though he lost the popular vote, because that is how it is established in the US. Days later, the federal government announced the possible interference in several ways by hacker structures from Russia that somehow manipulated and supported Donald Trump winning the presidency.
Over the next several months and years, various investigations were carried out by the FBI and by other US federal agencies as well as an investigation by Congress. Some personalities already in government positions at the time had to resign, some ended up on trial, others in jail. Some entities among them disappeared including the infamous remembered Cambridge Analytics. But President Trump took possession even survived an impeachment trial and after all, today he is in the race for a re-election that does not It looks as easy as it could have been.
Foreign intervention in any way in the election system in the US is illegal. However, that is the legal theory. In practice we have already seen how different types of foreign forces have managed to influence the elections in one way or another: Mexico through its descendants in the states of the west coast of the country; Cuba since the 1960s has been generating influence in federal politics, especially in the southern state of Florida. And it is there, where now a group of Latin Americans with dual nationality and voting power are today a topic of interest in the debate on political proposals. So four years later, things are still similar with a new protagonist: Colombia.
While it is true, Colombia remains a country of little importance in international politics and is almost unknown to the natives of the United States, the Andean country has taken an unusual importance in recent months given that the State of Florida put a large number of members in the electoral College to win the presidency of the country as it happened in both 2000 and 2016.
Florida, before the second world war, had not been important in the game of power in Washington. Things began to change with the arrival of the Cubans who settled in Miami and Tampa and little by little, taking positions of importance, turning South Florida into an epicenter of the US foreign relations game with Latin America. Years later, Central Americans, Haitians, Brazilians, Argentines, and more recently Venezuelans and Colombians also arrived.
Some of those Colombians in South Florida have been playing a media game in recent weeks that could influence the balance of power in Washington with the upcoming election on November 3rd. The Colombian-American votes, divided between both contenders, on the one hand, influenced by some members of the Centro Democrático (Democratic Center) party from Colombia, could reach about 300,000 votes that would weigh upon the result without a doubt—without necessarily violating the rules of foreign intervention in the electoral apparatus and thus determining the end result for a new president in the White House.