Residents of the coastal Colombian city Turbaco, comprised mostly of people from Afro-Colombian descent rang in the inauguration of American President Barack Obama Tuesday with fireworks, street theater and Caribbean themed music.
The celebration was an affirmation for the residents of Turbaco, who overwhelmingly voted in November through mock elections to show solidarity with Obama, who was sworn in as America’s 44th president and the country’s first African-American commander-in-chief, as reported by Terra Colombia.
“We are very pleased and happy,” said Silvio José Carrasquilla, ex-mayor of the city, located in the northern department of Bolivar near Cartegena.
Carrasquilla, himself of Afro-Colombian descent, added that the community is looking forward to the “era of Obama,” and many share the same political ideals as the new Democratic U.S. President.
In the simulated November elections in Turbaco organized by Carrasquilla to coincide with U.S. voting, Obama won 2,184 votes against Republican challenger John McCain’s 44 votes. The elections were purely symbolic, and the former mayor so outspokenly supported Obama even to the point of turning his home into an “election campaign command center.”
Carrasquilla, speaking from his home decorated with Democratic Party campaign colors and materials, said the festival in the Colombian city of 65,000 was important to the small Caribbean locale.
“With this festival we wanted also to unite our community at a world-wide level,” Carrasquilla said.