Ros-Lehtinen Says U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement Imperative for U.S., Regional Security and Interests
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on the impending U.S.-Colombia Defense Cooperation Agreement. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
This security agreement will be a major boost for the crucial efforts of responsible nations to root out drug trafficking and other sources of violence and instability in Latin America.
Hugo Chavez and his fellow cronies are the harshest critics of this cooperation because it will further strengthen democracy and security in Colombia, while countering the destructive ALBA agenda.
It is particularly necessary for the U.S. and Colombia to bolster cooperation after Rafael Correa, Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez all shut down critical counternarcotics operations and kicked out U.S. officials in the past year.
Consideration and passage of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement would be the ideal next step to enhancing our bilateral relationship and adopting a comprehensive approach to security and cooperation.
Note: On August 14, 2009, the United States and Colombia reached provisional agreement on a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA). The agreement is now undergoing final review in anticipation of signature. The DCA does not permit the establishment of any U.S. base in Colombia or authorize an increase in the presence of U.S. military or civilian personnel in Colombia.