In the midst of the political race ahead of the presidential elections, all the actions of the candidates for office generate reactions in the country. In the early hours of this Wednesday, March 16 (10:00 in the Vatican), the candidate Rodolfo Hernández met with Pope Francis.
After the former mayor of Bucaramanga sent a letter to the Vatican at the end of last year requesting an audience with the Supreme Pontiff, received him for 20 minutes in his officeencounter of which there was no photographic record. In dialogue with Caracol Radio, after leaving the meeting, the candidate revealed what they talked about and the details that he brought.
“We just left a meeting with the Pope, we talked about what is happening in Colombia, about soccer,” the candidate told the station at dawn on Wednesday. Furthermore, he pointed out that he took Pope Francis a straw hat made in Colombia, the book of San Lorenzo de Almagro issued in 1904, and a pound of Mesa de los Santos coffee.
He also brought him a Colombian hammock, but not for the priest, but rather so that he could send it to his sister in Argentina. “We have some meetings and visits to link some 200 Colombian children to soccer schools with Real Madrid,” the candidate added about his agenda in Europe.
“I told him what is happening in Colombia that the poor will be more and more poor if they keep voting for the same. we talked about Argentina It is something similar to what Colombia is, among other issues,” Hernández stressed on the radio station.
For its part, the Blu Radio station published the video of a meeting after the private meeting, which was captured on camera. After the 20-minute private meeting in the priest’s office, Rodolfo Hernández he greeted him again in a public audience.
The topics of conversation, as revealed by Rodolfo Hernández’s campaign team, were: How to combat poverty; soccer, since the candidate is a loyal fan of Atlético Bucaramanga, while Pope Francis is from San Lorenzo de Almagro; the political systems of Argentina and Colombia; and they also talked about the vice-presidential formula Marelene Castillo, academic vice-rector of the Minuto de Dios University in Bogotá.
Migration and the pandemic were also discussed, according to Blu Radio, at the end of the private meeting Rodolfo Hernández promised the priest “that he was going to get all the thieves out of the government, to which the pontiff did not respond”.
In dialogue with the Blu Radio station, the candidate “how we link a person, to the vice presidency, which is part of the pastoral, I imagine that he found that curious … he told me that it was very good, that he saw this pastoral decision to contribute to the country very well”. He added that Pope Francis told him that corruption occurs in all parts of the world and spoke to him about his country, Argentina. He pointed out that later he will take a flight to Madrid.
Before the meeting, the candidate announced to the Colombians why he was going to the Vatican. “I meet my family in Vatican City. I will receive the blessing of the Holy Father to govern Colombia. I send you a big hug,” he wrote.
“I want to ask the pope, the holy father, to enlighten me and give me strength to get, in the next government that we are going to leadall that thief who has betrayed the interests of Colombia”, Hernández explained in that recording in the streets of Rome. And he added that he was also going to ask for “the blessing to arrive strengthened to finish the campaign and not waver in the supreme purpose that is to rescue to Colombia really from these totally treacherous corrupt administrations”.
With this visit This is the second time that Pope Francis has met with a candidate for the presidency of Colombia.. The first was on February 2, when he also had a private audience with Gustavo Petrowhich generated criticism and various reactions for and against. According to a statement, the conversation between the two men also covered topics such as the search for a solution to the violence in the country and the leadership role of Colombia in the Latin American context.
Petro also brought gifts to the pontiff. Knowing that the priest collects vinyl records, Petro brought him several to add to his collection, a handmade hammock made in Tuchín, Córdoba, and three books on the history of Colombia. As revealed by El Tiempo, one of these books ‘Colombia: The reasons for the war’ by Jorge Orlando Melo.