January 28, 2023

The 10 curiosities of Gustavo Petro’s speech before the UN

Read Time:3 Minute, 59 Second

(CNN Spanish) — Gustavo Petro, president of Colombia, gave a very striking speech in his first statement before a General Assembly of the United Nations. It was an impassioned reflection —unusual for Colombian presidents at the UN— in which he criticized the war on drugs and the handling of the climate crisis, defended the environment and called for a change of approach against drug trafficking achieve peace from social justice. The jungle was the axis of his speech, in which he condemned war, addiction to money and drugs, and hypocritical speeches.

These are the curiosities of Petro’s speech before the UN.

1. How many words Petro spoke

Without counting the formal greetings, it was a speech of 2,166 words

2. How long was the speech

Not counting the formal greetings, the speech lasted 19:48 minutes

(The longest speech delivered in the General Assembly was by Fidel Castro in 1960: 269 ​​minutes).

3. The most mentioned words by Petro

29 times jungle
20 times war
14 times drug
14 times life
14 times can
13 times plant
12 times climate
12 times addiction
11 times Petroleum
10 times humanity
9 times peace
9 times poison
7 mentions of Amazon
7 times destruction
5 times my country
4 times cocaine
4 times Latin America
4 times failure

4. The word he didn’t say once

He didn’t say “Colombia.” She always spoke of “my country”.

5. He did not mention other rulers

He stressed that the text does not say specific names or assign individual responsibilities, but rather speaks of societies and countries.

6. Petro only said “United States” once

Petro, a leftist politician, has said he wants a new page in relations with the United States. Although he criticizes the fight against drug trafficking—the United States finances much of it in Colombia—he only mentioned the United States once in his inauguration speech and once in this speech to the UN. Both times on those killed by overdose.

7. The speech was written by himself

The presidents have a team of communications and speechwriters, but Gustavo Petro is known for consulting little with his advisers and managing his Twitter account personally. According to Laura Sarabia, head of the Presidency’s Cabinet, Petro wrote the speech “in his own handwriting.” Sarabria shared a photo of Petro, who often makes impromptu speeches and has outstanding rhetorical ability, writing on a piece of paper on a plane.

8. The reference to Garcia Marquez

“I come from the land of yellow butterflies and magic,” Petro said. Yellow butterflies are a well-remembered figure of One hundred years of solitude that became a common allusion to Garcíamarquian literature and, by default, to Colombian culture.

9. It is the most viewed speech before the UN on the YouTube channel of the Colombian Presidency

On the YouTube channel of the Colombian Presidency, created in 2010, there are speeches by Juan Manuel Santos, Iván Duque and now Gustavo Petro. With 415,000 views At the time of writing this note, it is the most viewed speech in that space.

10. What are the other two most beautiful countries?

“I come from one of the three most beautiful countries on Earth,” says the first sentence of Petro’s speech, which was widely commented on in networks. And there remains a great unknown that several were made on Twitter: what are the other two?

The answer is on Petro’s Twitter account. In August she shared a content of Time which referred to a ranking of money.co.uk (and shared by the magazine Forbes) about the countries with the most natural beauty in the world. The ranking is made by Salman Haqqi, personal finance editor of money, from a score out of 10 in which seven factors were taken into account: volcanoes, mountains, coral reefs, protected areas, coastline, tropical forests and glaciers.

The top 3 is like this:

  1. Indonesia: 7.77 points
  2. New Zealand: 7.27 points
  3. Colombia: 7.16 points

So that classification shared by Petro —from a Colombian media outlet, which quoted a US economic magazine, which in turn referenced a ranking from a British financial guide portal— is an arbitrary list made not by a natural scientist, but by a financial journalist.

Watch Petro’s full speech

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