U.S. Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) today made a statement following a meeting with Colombian and Venezuelan community leaders. LeMieux joined with U.S. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Miami) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami) and State Representative Juan Carlos Zapata (R-Miami) in a discussion regarding the strained relations between Colombia and Venezuela.
"I continue to be troubled by the on-going reports of Venezuela harboring narco-terrorists inside the country," LeMieux said. "Chavez's next moves will be key to tell us whether he is prepared to reverse course, stop harassment of his democratically-governed neighbors, and move toward democracy. Unity between community members here sends a clear message to Venezuelans that Chavez's behavior is unacceptable and that the Venezuelan people want strong ties with Colombia. I think it's long past due for the OAS members to take appropriate and decisive action to enforce the Democratic Charter on Venezuela."
BACKGROUND: Senator LeMieux has been a vocal proponent of ratification of the pending free trade agreement between the US and Colombia. While in Bogota last week, LeMieux confirmed that Obama Administration officials pledged to put the agreement in front of Congress for approval this year.