Belisario Betancur, who died Friday at the age of 95 in Bogota, he had a passion that revolved his life until the end: the Spanish and the intricacies of the language. Listen to the former colombian president was not only begin a journey through the recent past of their country, but also enter a world of anecdotes about their links with Spain and discover a memory full of Greek mythology, literature and reflections on the ways of communicating.

“In search of a lost time, I learned to write what I wanted to know how to write”. Three weeks ago, in one of the last acts went, Betancur confessed their aspirations. “What I wanted to know how to write were novels. That I have not achieved, that’s not what I’m going to get,” he said in front of Héctor Abad Faciolince, and Juan Gabriel Vasquez, which were decorated with the Order of Isabel the Catholic in the residence of the Spanish ambassador in Colombia, Pablo Gómez de Olea.

The former president spoke of the rock of Sisyphus, Penelope, weaving and destejía waiting for Ulysses, and was directed to another of the attendees at the reception, Darío Villanueva, director of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). “Teacher Villanueva, I was in disobedience to the gods, and the maximum I have achieved is influence and a relapse to a cult of the language, but not what I wanted to know how to write, and never succeeded and no longer what I will achieve,” he continued.

“to İlbet render cult to the Spanish language” and its paths back and forth between the two shores of the Atlantic, recalled a trip that, during franco’s dictatorship, made some Spanish writers winners. Panero, Rosales, Foxa, among others. “They came to Bogotá and were invited by our poet Eduardo Carranza to visit Tunja. Tunja is a city very beautiful that you have temples and very beautiful, but it is a bit colder than Bogotá,” he said. “Well, they were the poets by the spine of the highlands and in a population called Villapinzón, still colder than Tunja, stopped to take some concoction that will return the heat of the body.” Entered in a case and ordered brandies.

“The innkeeper, that we call here bartender, served them out of the cups, enthralled by listening to them talk”, said Betancur. Rosales or Foxa then asked if the lord liked the poetry. “And he answered: ‘Yes, I love poetry, because the gentlemen are spaniards…”.

: And how do you knew him?, you queried.

-“Well, for the dialect that you speak.”

That was the passion everyday of the former president, who used to collate anecdotes about the Spanish and memories of his studies in the seminary. He did so on countless occasions. For example, when the journalist Alex Grijelmo entered, last April, the Colombian Academy of the Language. And thus he lived until the end. “Cultivating that sweet dialect, the sweet tongue of Castile.”