Getting used to the new normal

COLOMBIA - Report 27 Jan 2023 by Juan Carlos Echeverry and Andres Escobar

Contrary to expectations, President Gustavo Petro is managing his politics quite well -- and for some that creates disconcert and awe. Constant criticism of him falls mostly on deaf ears. This is the historical moment for Petro's ideas and leadership, and ordinary people want to know if they were right to vote for him.

Even those who didn’t vote for him expect him to do some good for the have-nots. The disconnect of the elites with the sentiment in the street may arise from the fact that the have-nots don’t believe they’d share prosperity. Health, education, electricity, gas at home and public transportation are not enough. They understandably aim for the comprehensive deal, as Petro proposes.

The president has kept people expecting his reforms to do the trick, and people pay more attention to these promises than to the warnings of connoisseurs. This situation will characterize public opinion in 2023, since neither camp will be able to claim a tremendous success or calamity. We’ll have to get used to the new normal.

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