Colombia VP turned down Brazil ambassadorship because ‘pet sensitive to heat’

Posted on Mar 18 2014 - 1:12pm by Rico
Vice-president Angelino Garzon and his german shepherd Orion (Photo: El Tiempo)

Vice President Angelino Garzon has embarrassed Colombia by revealing he turned down an ambassador’s post in Brazil because the weather is too hot for his dog, said the country’s foreign minister.

In an interview with magazine Semana, Garzon said he turned down the offer because he was worried that the hot Brazilian climate would affect the health of his dog.

“We turned down the offer because the dog in this photo is very furry and the hot climate in Brazil could be damaging for his health,” said Garzon in the interview published on Saturday.

Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin responded Tuesday, saying she was ashamed of the alleged reasons behind the VP’s decision and issued an apology to both the Brazilian government and the Brazilian public.

“I apologize to the Brazilian government and the people of Brazil and am very saddened by this type of response from the Vice President,” Holguin said in a radio interview.

Holguin revealed that when she and President Juan Manuel Santos were initially informed of Garzon’s decision, the Vice President stated that it was due to “personal reasons.”

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“I said that I did not accept the position for personal reasons. Where Angelino goes, so does the dog. The dog is not property of the Vice Presidency of the Republic.”

“He sent the President and myself a letter citing personal reasons, one would imagine that they would be more serious than being concerned about the climate affecting the health of a dog,” Holguin added.

Holguin said that she did not consider Garzon’s reasoning valid and that the Vice President’s decision had damaged Colombia’s relationship with Brazil, by downplaying the country’s importance in the region.

Brazil is among Colombia’s closest partners in the region and considered one of the most influential countries in South America. Adding to the embarrassment, the Brazilian government had originally approved of Garzon’s nomination in just two days.

On Tuesday, Garzon defended his decision, saying “I said that I did not accept the position for personal reasons. Where Angelino goes, so does the dog. The dog is not property of the Vice Presidency of the Republic.”

Sources

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