Nov 07 2014
Washington, D.C. – During an official trip to Colombia on Thursday, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) met with key military leaders to discuss the importance of building a strong, lasting relationship between the U.S. and Colombia. Rubio’s trip concluded following his visits with Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón, lead peace negotiator Humberto de la Calle, and members of the Colombian National Police Special Operations Center in Pijaus, the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Bogotá, among others.
Rubio issued the following statement:
“I’d like to thank the people and government of Colombia for their generous hospitality, as well as the entire team at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá. America has a vested interest in Colombia’s security and economic prosperity, and it is my hope that we continue working together to build a strong U.S.-Colombia relationship that lasts well beyond this century.
“Colombia is America’s most capable and willing ally in Latin America. I am proud of the role the U.S. has played in helping Colombia’s armed forces and national police take back their country from the violence and terror that has gripped so much of Colombia for decades.
“I support the Government of Colombia’s efforts to rid their country, once and for all, from poisonous narcoterrorist organizations like the FARC and ELN, and I hope one day Colombians will be able to enjoy a real and lasting peace. The U.S. commitment to Colombia remains strong and it is vital for the security of the hemisphere that we maintain this important alliance.
“Florida is home to hundreds of thousands of Americans of Colombian descent, and Colombia is Florida’s second-largest foreign export market. Growing commerce between our countries is vital to continued economic growth and a vibrant middle class in both the U.S. and Colombia. And Colombia’s success is particularly important to Floridians, as so many Colombians have chosen to call Florida their home.
“I pledge to return to the Senate to ensure the U.S.-Colombia relationship remains strong, and a top priority of the new Senate and House majorities.”
Photos of Rubio’s last day in Colombia are available below and can be credited to Rubio’s office. They can be viewed in higher quality here.
Rubio and U.S. Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker meet with Minister of Defense Juan Carlos Pinzón.
Rubio meets with Dr. Humberto de la Calle, the lead negotiator of peace talks with the FARC.
Rubio and Ambassador Whitaker meet with members of the Colombian National Police Special Operation Center in Pijaus.
Rubio tours a simulation drug processing lab used for training exercises at the Colombian National Police Special Operation Center in Pijaus.