Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging his administration to support the Colombian government as it seeks to contain and mitigate the destabilizing impact that drug-related conflict has on both Colombia and the Western Hemisphere as a whole. Rubio’s letter comes after fighting broke out between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissident elements of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Colombia’s Arauca and Norte de Santander provinces earlier this month.
 
In November 2021, Rubio warned that “the Biden Administration’s decision to remove the FARC from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list risks emboldening narcoterrorists and the regimes that sponsor them throughout our region.” 
 
“I urge your administration to maintain and strengthen the United States’ longstanding commitment to, and mutually beneficial relationship with, the Republic of Colombia in the coming years,” Rubio wrote. “This should include exploring what additional support the United States can provide to Colombia’s military and law enforcement bodies to prevent future violence; preserve the integrity of Colombia’s elections from outside interference; and ensuring that U.S. international assistance does not benefit current or former members of terrorist organizations that further the violence. Our nation’s unwavering support to Colombia should not be a partisan cause.”
 
Rubio further discussed the deteriorating security situation in the region in an op-ed for Colombia’s El Tiempo, noting that “the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections [in Colombia] will also impact our nation as a whole. Further instability in the Western Hemisphere will only lead to more drugs, illegal immigration, and chaos making their way into the U.S.” 
 
Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
 
The full text of the letter is below.
 
Dear Mr. President: 
 
I write to express my concern with the deteriorating security situation near the Colombia-Venezuela border. As Colombia enters a sensitive period with Presidential elections this May, I urge you to do more to support the Colombian government as it seeks to contain and mitigate the destabilizing impact that drug-related conflict has on both Colombia and the Western Hemisphere as a whole.   
 
As you know, earlier this month, fighting between the National Liberation Army (ELN) and dissident elements of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) broke out in Colombia’s Arauca province. The conflict over control of the lucrative cross-border drug trade emanating from Venezuela tragically killed at least 23 people in Arauca. This unfortunate return to the drug-related violence that plagued Colombia for many years has grave implications for the safety of both innocent Colombians and Venezuelans. During the conflicts of the mid-2000s, at least 868 people were killed and more than 58,000 people were forced to flee Arauca and the neighboring Apure Province in Venezuela, which destabilized other countries in the region. 
 
This conflict is enabled by the Maduro regime’s deliberate and active assistance to these militant organizations that rely on illegal narcotics for funding. For years, the dictatorial regimes of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro have provided safe haven for armed terrorist groups operating against the interests of the Colombian government. Unfortunately, your administration’s decision to de-list most of these mercenaries from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations has only emboldened terrorist organizations to continue their illegal activities in Colombia and Venezuela. 
 
I urge your administration to maintain and strengthen the United States’ longstanding commitment to, and mutually beneficial relationship with, the Republic of Colombia in the coming years. This should include exploring what additional support the United States can provide to Colombia’s military and law enforcement bodies to prevent future violence; preserve the integrity of Colombia’s elections from outside interference; and ensuring that U.S. international assistance does not benefit current or former members of terrorist organizations that further the violence. Our nation’s unwavering support to Colombia should not be a partisan cause. 
 
I look forward to working with you on these and other initiatives to further our nation’s bilateral relationship with Colombia, which has been one of the pillars of regional stability in the Western Hemisphere. Thank you for your attention to these serious matters. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
RUBIO AL PRESIDENTE: DEBE HACER MÁS PARA APOYAR AL GOBIERNO COLOMBIANO

 Washington, D.C. — El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) envió una carta al presidente Joe Biden instándole a que su administración apoye al gobierno colombiano en su intento de contener y mitigar el impacto desestabilizador que tiene el conflicto armado relacionado con las drogas tanto en Colombia como en el hemisferio occidental. La carta de Rubio llega después que surgieron enfrentamientos entre el ELN y disidencias de las FARC en los Departamentos de Arauca y Norte de Santander a principios de este mes.
 
En noviembre del 2021, Rubio advirtió que “la decisión de la Administración Biden de eliminar a las FARC de la lista de Organizaciones Terroristas Extranjeras corre el riesgo de alentar a los narcoterroristas y a los regímenes que los patrocinan en toda nuestra región”. 
 
“Insto a su administración a mantener y fortalecer el compromiso de larga trayectoria de EE.UU. sobre la relación mutuamente beneficiosa con la República de Colombia en los próximos años”, Rubio escribió. “Esto debería incluir explorar qué apoyo adicional puede brindar EE.UU. a los cuerpos militares y policiales de Colombia para prevenir la violencia en el futuro; preservar la integridad de las elecciones de Colombia de la interferencia externa; y garantizar que la asistencia internacional de EE. UU. no beneficie a miembros actuales o a miembros anteriores de organizaciones terroristas que fomentan la violencia. El apoyo incondicional de nuestra nación a Colombia no debe ser una causa partidista”.
 
Rubio resaltó el deterioro de la situación de seguridad en la región en una columna de opinión para el periodico El Tiempo, señalando que “el resultado de las próximas elecciones presidenciales también afectará a nuestra nación. Una mayor inestabilidad en nuestro hemisferio conducirá a que más drogas, migración ilegal y caos se abran paso hacia EE. UU. La administración Biden no puede permitir que eso suceda”.
 
Rubio es el Miembro de Más Alto Rango del Subcomité sobre Hemisferio Occidental, Crimen Transnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Globales de la Mujer.
 
El texto de la carta en inglés está aquí.