Colombia is one of our most important allies in Latin America and can be instrumental in the economic revival of the Americas. Colombia is also having a rough time with a falling currency. It is a country where we can have a serious and balanced trade relationship. Here is a serious Democrat doing and saying the right thing.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz Completes High-Level Visit to Colombia
Meetings with Colombian President, Defense Minister, Attorney General, Foreign Relations Minister, Trade Minister, and Labor Officials focused on U.S./Colombian relations, trade, and continued cooperation
April 9, 2009 US House of Representatives
(Washington, DC) -- Rep. Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) has wrapped up a two day visit to Colombia meeting with senior government, military, and labor officials in both Cartagena and Medellin. The Congresswoman was part of an official Congressional delegation consisting of the following members of the House of Representatives: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-5), Roy Blunt (MO-7), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Joseph Crowley (NY-7), Elijah Cummings (MD-7), Norm Dicks (WA-6), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6), Lucille Roybal–Allard (CA-34), Aaron Schock (IL-18), and Adrian Smith (NE-3).
In Cartagena, the delegation met with President Álvaro Uribe, Defense Minister Santos, Foreign Relations Minister Bermudez, Trade Minister Plata, and the Mayor of Cartagena, Judith Pinedo. They were also briefed by Admiral Guillermo Barrera on narcotics interdiction and by the Center for Coordinated and Integrated Action Fusion Center which coordinates military, social, and government efforts to clear areas held by drug traffickers and restore stability and security.
“We have a significant and important Colombian-American population living here in South Florida,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “Additionally, U.S. – Colombian trade represents $18 billion annually, much of which flows through South Florida, resulting in jobs for our community. Our continued strong relationship with Colombia and the improved security situation within the country will help South Floridian residents and businesses as well as the Colombian people.”
Their trip to Cartagena also involved a site visit to the Indufrial AID project, which provides education, vocational training, and loans to start small businesses. This visit also allowed the delegation to meet with internally displaced persons (IDPs) and demobilized paramilitary members helped by the Indufrial AID project.
In Medellin, the delegation met with Attorney General Iguaran, and the Mayor of Medellin, Alonso Salazar. They also discussed the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement with labor unions both for and against the trade pact and discussed internal security with demobilized paramilitary members.