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Rubio Statement on the Colombia Peace Agreement

Aug 25, 2016 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement today regarding the Colombia peace agreement announcement:
“Today’s announcement is just another step in a long process that will hopefully bring a much-deserved peace to the Colombian people. Colombia has been a close partner of the United States.  Through our strong security partnership, we have helped bring the FARC to the negotiating table.  FARC terrorists have been convicted in U.S. courts for their crimes against the Colombian people, including many who now live in Florida.  Even as this peace process continues, we must not lose sight of the FARC’s violent history and its duplicity.  Convicted terrorists here in the United States, such as Simon Trinidad, must be held accountable for their crimes and we must continue to deepen our counter-narcotic and border security cooperation with our Colombian partners.

“Colombia is proof of the positive developments taking place in many parts of the Western Hemisphere, when human rights and the rule of law are elevated above violence and terrorism. This agreement may prove to be a new chapter in Colombia’s history, but whether the FARC, a U.S. State Department designated terrorist organization, can prove to fully disarm and join civil society remains to be seen. I want to be optimistic about this deal, but I also know the FARC, as well as the Castro regime that helped broker the peace accord, have decades worth of lies and betrayal that don’t inspire much confidence things will change overnight.

“For real peace to be lasting in Colombia, any agreement will ultimately need to have the buy-in of the Colombian people.  It is essential that their voices be heard and they now be given the opportunity for a free and fair debate about the merits of this agreement. Whatever the Colombian people decide, the United States continues to stand by our strong Colombian allies, and I hope we can strengthen our security and economic ties.

“Aside from the announcement of a peace agreement, I am concerned by Colombia’s decision to cease aerial spraying of coca plants. This could lead to a bumper crop of coca that FARC elements, cartels and illicit traffickers will use to flood U.S. streets and communities with cocaine. We must work together with our strong partner, the Colombian government, to ensure cartels and transnational criminal gangs do not take the place of the FARC in illicitly trafficking narcotics, weapons, money and supplies to feed this deadly trade. ‎The Colombian people have suffered for decades under narcoterrorists and deserve a real and lasting peace.”