Senator Marco Rubio is calling for the United States to support Colombia’s war on drugs to ensure regional peace and stability.
This week, Colombian President Iván Duque is scheduled to make his first official visit to Washington, D.C. since being inaugurated last year.
In an op-ed written for the Miami-Herald, Senator Rubio explained that, with President Duque’s trip, both countries will face an opportunity to renew and strengthen their strategic alliance, saying that it “has become all-the-more important as both nations work with the international community to resolve the crisis in Venezuela.”
The Florida Senator further explained that both the United States and Colombia “partnered together to create Plan Colombia, a bilateral initative to strengthen the Colombian government’s institutions and military capabilities.”
Rubio then added that “out of the violence and insurgency that plagued Colombia rose an economic and security partnership unlike anything else in Latin America.” And, this was “largely because of the total commitment of the Colombian government and society.” In turn, “Plan Colombia became a model for the strategic partnership that further seeks to consolidate the country’s gains in security, stability and prosperity.”
In making sure that the United States stands alongside Colombia in their efforts, the Senator detailed that “it is in the U.S. national security interests to work with Colombia to keep drugs off our streets that kill Americans and to reduce the illicit flows that lead to violence and instability in Central America and Mexico. President Duque and his administration are committed to dismantling the drug trade, and understand the dangers posed by the cartels not only to their country but also to the region. The United States must make clear we stand with the Colombian people as they reverse recent trends of the previous government and build a safer country under new leadership.”