During his visit to Colombia, the former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, delivered a powerful message to young people
On July 17, the former Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, visited the Universidad de los Andes, one of the most important educational institutions in Colombia. There, a conference on United States foreign policy was held. In this forum, which was moderated by CNN en Español correspondent Juan Carlos López, Biden answered several questions in which different points were touched, such as the meeting of US President Donald Trump with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
On this, Joe Biden guaranteed that as vice president with access to confidential information of the United States, Russia did interfere in the presidential elections of 2016. It must be remembered that at the meeting held in Finland, the US president initially denied precisely the intervention of Russia in the elections of the United States, as outlined by Sputnik News.
In the Mario Laserna Auditorium, the students and the people outside the university who met in this place also heard him express themselves about the false populism that has been propagated in recent years between countries, about democracy, the issue of migrants and corruption. Likewise, Biden spoke about the challenges of Latin America at a social and economic level, the elections in Mexico and Colombia, and the peace process in the coffee country.
However, something became clear that day and it is the message that former Vice President Biden wanted to deliver to all the students who attended the conference: young people need to begin to get involved in the politics of our government. "You, the new generation of Colombians, it's time to take charge of your life. I'm being serious. Compromise, link, go to politics. "
According to Biden, the young people of his country are part of the most educated generation in history: the millennial generation. According to the bank BBVA, "defining a sector of the population such as the 'millennials' is not an easy task, but most media agree on something: these young people born after the 80s are a digital generation, hyperconnected and with high social and ethical values. All this and more makes them different from past generations".
This is the most prepared generation in history and the most tolerant. "Another characteristic that completely breaks with the generation of their parents is their critical and demanding sense: transparency, collaboration, commitment, and tolerance are some of the values that they want to see reflected in society. They are aware of the world situation, and they know that the political and economic future will end up in their hands" says BBVA.
The problem is that these young people, says the former vice president, do not want to get involved in politics because they believe it is dirty. Nonetheless, Biden invites young people to be more vocal to face corruption. "They have to get involved, they have to get their hands dirty." If one does not do so, he explains, quoting Plato's famous phrase, the good ones are condemned to be governed by worse men. "If they do not get involved, they get exactly what they deserve," the former vice president said.
According to data from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the state of the population in 2017, more than 25% of the total population is young. In Colombia, this figure rises to 33.03% of young people between 15 and 34 years old, according to data from the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE); while in Mexico it is 34%, according to Population Pyramid. This is a significant population that could make a difference in their countries, after all in these young people is the future of each government. "It's in your power to change," said Joe Biden.
Latin American youth are not very different from the American ones, because in this region many young people do not want to participate in politics either, although this is changing little by little. In Colombia, it is because, "like many contemporary societies, Colombian youth feel disenchantment, when they do not open up annoyance, for politics and for those who exercise it," explains El Colombiano. In the case of Mexico, it is because, among other things, young people "cannot connect" with politicians, according to Vice.
The director of Political Advocacy, Aline Zunzunegui, said in an interview with Vice that "the dissatisfaction of this generation is very evident. And it's largely because they see the word 'corruption' everywhere. As they were born immersed in that dynamic, is the only thing they know and take for granted that things will always be like this”.
Because of this, Joe Biden gave one last tip to this population: "My grandfather was a Catholic Irishman in Pennsylvania, every time I left his house he would shout: Joey, keep the faith, and my grandmother would tell me: No, Joey, spread it. Go spread the faith".
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translates from “"Ustedes, la nueva generación de colombianos, es momento de tomar las riendas de su vida": Joe Biden”