It may not have been the best speech, because the topics he addressed were limited, but it is the one that brought tears to many people’s eyes.
The whole speech was very emotional, courageous and beautiful. Of course, because of the love for his homeland that he shows “It is one of the three most beautiful in the world, he said”,
And he passionately defended the Amazon rainforest:
“There is an explosion of life there. Thousands of multicoloured species in the seas, in the skies, in the lands. I come from the land of yellow butterflies and magic. There in the mountains and valleys of all greens, not only the abundant waters flow down, but also the torrents of blood. I come from a country of bloody beauty. My country is not only beautiful, there is also violence there”.
In these forests, planetary oxygen is emitted and atmospheric CO2 is absorbed, he explained.
“One of these CO2-absorbing plants, among millions of species, is one of the most persecuted on earth. It is an Amazonian plant, the coca plant, the sacred plant of the Incas. And to destroy the coca plant they throw poisons, glyphosate in masses that run through the waters, they arrest its growers and imprison them”.
He added that the coca leaf, as the Bolivians have always said, is the only product that the indigenous people can sell honestly and because they themselves use it safely to withstand the altitude or the exhaustion of work.
Gustavo Petro was remarkable for his courage in attacking all the developed countries that are polluting the world and causing the disappearance of the human species (and of all or almost all living species, I add); also for his love of life, his eagerness to fight for it and save the whole world, because either we all save ourselves or we all become extinct, and for his violence, for having the courage to tell the developed countries that they are to blame for the end of the world that is approaching.
He called the war on drugs and the fight against climate change a failure. His speech had numerous criticisms of the US for invasions of other countries, global dependence on oil and the ravages of speculative capitalism.
“The climate disaster will kill hundreds of millions of people and listen well, it is not produced by the planet, it is produced by capital,” he said.
He considered that US policy has provoked genocide in Latin America. And another of the most impressive things he said was to describe so-called Western democracy, especially American democracy, as a sad society of lonely people who take refuge in drugs to anaesthetise themselves.
What is more poisonous to human beings: coca or coal or oil?
He said: “They see in the exuberance of the jungle, in its vitality, the lustful, the sinful; the guilty origin of the sadness of their societies, imbued with the profound unlimited compulsion to have, to have and to consume”.
It has been a long time since we have heard such a strong and courageous speech at the United Nations.
But in its form and manner of speaking, Petro’s speech was very moving because it was also the speech of a poet. A poet who was a guerrilla fighter in his youth to defend democracy. Because we already know that many guerrillas were poets and that many poets became guerrillas, also in Chile.
Gustavo Petro’s speech was full of pain, violence and hope. None of the audience was indifferent, everyone felt tremendously impacted.
Perhaps he is the new Salvador Allende we have been waiting for, or the new Bolívar who can save Latin America and the world.
It is impossible to convey the emotion of this speech. That is why I leave here the video in case you want to listen directly to his words.