Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart, Andrade Praise Colombian Government For Heroic Rescue of Hostages

Jul 3, 2008
Press Release

MIAMI—Today Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who introduced a resolution last year condemning the FARC for the kidnappings of Americans, and Fabio Andrade, Colombian-American activist and leader in the South Florida community, expressed their solidarity with the hostages and praised the Colombian government and President Alvaro Uribe for a heroic rescue mission.

“The hostages rescued in yesterday’s mission have faced this horrific situation with bravery, and I am glad that today they once again live in freedom.  My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families for a safe return home,” said Diaz-Balart. 

“God Bless Colombia,” says Andrade.  “My warmest and best regards for the health of the hostages, and I hope that they use this time in captivity to take a positive role in uniting and finding peace in our country.”

“The heroic rescue once again demonstrates that President Alvaro Uribe and the Colombian government are winning the fight against the murderers.  They are fighting the FARC and making significant improvements to sustain their unwavering democracy. Colombia is our strongest ally in the region and it is critical that we continue to support President Uribe’s initiatives, including a free trade agreement,” said Diaz-Balart. 

“Congratulations to our military, because it is time that they receive the recognition they deserve as a professional organization that respects human rights, the rule of law and the right of the Colombian people to search and find our peace,” said Andrade. 

“The FARC is nothing shy of a dangerous and barbaric terrorist group that should be condemned for its attacks on Americans, Colombians and all who fall victim to their cruelty,” said Diaz-Balart.  “We are one step closer to the day in which the FARC can no longer deprive others of their liberty.”

“The job is not complete.  Much more needs to be done.  We have to continue supporting Plan Colombia so we can ensure the rest of the hostages come home safely,” said Andrade.  “From the United States, as Colombian-Americans, we will continue to work to secure that the free trade agreement moves forward in Congress.”

Last year, Diaz-Balart introduced H.Con.Res. 260, a bi-partisan resolution condemning the terrorist group FARC for the kidnapping of Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes and Marc Gonsalves and the execution of Tom Janis.  FARC remains a terrorist group listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.