October 4, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding the narrow defeat of an agreement in a national referendum Sunday in Colombia that would have brought a decades-old Marxist insurgency to a peaceful end:

The champions of Peace Colombia may have lost Sunday’s vote, but they have won the admiration of people in our country and throughout the world with their commitment to a unified, free and prosperous nation.  It is more important now than ever that the United States stand with President Santos and all those in Colombia who strive for peace.  With the outcome of Sunday’s vote, we see now the full scope of the challenge they have undertaken.  It is a noble and vital pursuit, and one in which all the nations of the Americas have a stake.  For the sake of prosperity and security of our hemisphere, it is a quest that must continue and ultimately succeed.  The United States must  now be more active than ever before in its partnership with President Santos and the people of the strong and stable democracy that is Colombia.”

NOTE: Boehner developed a special bond with Colombia during his nearly five years as Speaker, securing enactment of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, visiting President Santos in Bogota and Cartagena, and hosting the Colombian president at the U.S. Capitol.  He was honored at the Colombian Embassy in Washington, D.C. earlier this year for his efforts to promote and strengthen the special relationship between the U.S. and Colombia during his years as Speaker.

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