On April 13, Ambassador Carolina Barco, former Colombian foreign minister, honored the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum with the donation of a three-volume set of books commemorating the life of her father, past-President Virgilio Barco Vargas. Over the past year, as part of a time-honored tradition to honor former presidents during the year of their one hundredth birthday, Colombia honored Barco’s life of public service. The commemorative events and projects, commissioned by the current President Iván Duque Márquez, included conferences, an exhibition, podcasts, a documentary, and the three-volume set.
Barco’s presidential term, 1986-1990, overlapped with the end of George H.W. Bush’s vice-presidency and beginning of his presidency. During this time, they developed a strong personal friendship and promoted a strong relationship between their countries. Out of appreciation for President Bush’s support for Colombia during their father’s presidency, Ambassador Barco and her siblings chose the Bush Library to receive the set of books and two additional biographies.
The three-volume series, entitled Virgilio Barco: A Tribute, is a commemorative set of books edited by renowned political scientist and former Minister and Ambassador Fernando Cepeda Ulloa. The other two books that were donated are Barco: Life and Events of a Crucial President and the Violent World He Confronted, written by an English historian from Oxford University, Malcolm Deas, and Virgilio Barco, the Last Liberal, written by a Colombian historian, Leopoldo Villar Borda.
The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service helped organize the event.