On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send my best wishes to the people of Colombia as you celebrate your independence on July 20th.
We celebrate 190 years of U.S.-Colombian friendship this year. This is an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of our relationship, which now extends far beyond security cooperation to include collaboration on issues such as environmental protection, renewable energy, entrepreneurship, bilingual education, and academic mobility.
Last August, I took my first official trip to Colombia as Secretary. I was taken with the warmth and spirit of your country and have long been inspired by your resilience. Radio stations that once broadcasted messages of support from mothers to their kidnapped children instead play the popular music of the day. Bogota is a thriving capital where business booms and police patrol the streets. Colombians have an incredible story to tell the world about transformation.
As you celebrate with your countrymen, the United States is proud to stand by all Colombians as you work to secure a peaceful future for your children and grandchildren.