The president is sick Columnist | Opinion

From a political and media perspective, the most worrying news, radio or television headline of all is when it is made public that the incumbent president is ill. In the United States, Canada, and European countries, the health status of candidates for the presidency is generally disclosed, and then when they become president. The informative camouflage practices of the last century were abandoned, from the presidential era of John F. Kennedy, George Pompidou and François Mitterrand, who systematically, almost sacredly, hid their serious health problems, despite which they reached or maintained the reins of power.

In Latin America, we have everything, like in a pharmacy. In Colombia, the most serious health crisis became evident during the presidential tour of Virgilio Barco to South Korea and Japan in September 1987, an impasse that resulted in two emergency operations, first for an intestinal condition in a military hospital in Seoul and then in Anchorage, Alaska, for acute diverticulitis. From that moment, virtual governance became official in our country, through the Fax and later via the Internet.

In this century, Colombians were shocked by the ischemia and the five coronary bridges of the vice president, Angelino Garzón, at the beginning of the last decade.

The concealment and health viacrucis of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, stands out, who, initially in secret, put himself in the hands of Cuban medicine to deal with colon cancer, which ultimately cost him his life in March 2013.

However, the official news that the then president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, would undergo surgery for prostate cancer in October 2012, took everyone by surprise. No less worrying has been the confirmation of melanoma of the current president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, who recently traveled to Houston, USA, to receive treatment. Currently, the country expresses its concern for the health of the president, Gustavo Petro, who was treated in Cuba for esophageal cancer in April 2020. In the first days of his government, his absence from the recognition ceremony caused a lot of confusion. of the Military Forces, whose cancellation was due to a deep stomachache, a reason preceded by four official versions, all contradictory. Last week, the Presidency of the Republic confirmed that President Petro was suffering from non-obstructive acute bronchitis, now with type A influenza.

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In these times, the health of the leaders becomes a matter of national security, to the point that its evolution moves in parallel with the health of the nation.

Thus, it is necessary that the health reports of the head of state be made public in a truthful, timely and mandatory manner.

Andres Espinosa Fenwarth
Member of the Board of Directors of the ICP.

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