Marco Rubio concludes two-day Colombia tour, promotes US relations

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U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio concluded his two-day official tour of Columbia by holding meetings with key military leaders to discuss a strong, long-lasting relationship with the U.S.

“Colombia is America’s most capable and willing ally in Latin America,” the Florida Senator said in a statement. “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.”

Rubio met 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. He also paid a visit to U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Bogotá office.

“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,” Rubio said.

Florida leads the nation in Colombian immigrants to the United States. With close ties between U.S. citizens and Colombians, Colombia is Florida’s second largest foreign export market. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia pass through Florida.

Rubio also has a personal connection Columbia, as it is the original home of his wife’s parents.

“I pledge to return to the Senate to ensure the U.S.-Colombia relationship remains strong,” Rubio concluded, “and a top priority of the new Senate and House majorities.”

Photos via Rubio’s Senate office:

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.