Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the America’s Society’s highest honor, the Gold Insigne Award, at a special ceremony attended by Latin and North American political and business leaders.
Ambassador John D. Negroponte, Chairman of the Americas Society Board of Directors congratulated President Santos by saying, “Your outstanding accomplishments as minister of foreign trade, minister of finance, minister of defense and now as President have helped define Colombia as it is today, and propelled the country’s emergence onto the world stage.”
Nation-building is a long process with many side steps on the way. There are no shortcuts to building a civil society, but Colombia is organizing itself with the help of leaders like President Santos and reaching out into the world with the creativity that adversity inspires.
Just this last weekend, “La más grande historia jamás cantada / The most amazing story ever sung,” the first original Colombian musical theatre, opened nearby in New York at Lincoln Center demonstrating the strength and vitality of contemporary Colombian culture and the Colombian people.
Colombia’s continuing efforts to restore security, increase trade, reduce poverty and improve education during President Santos’ years in government service should give all Colombians and all Americans hope for a better future in the Americas and the world.
The photo is by Roey Yohai, courtesy of Americas Society.