In a statement released on the eve of the bicentennial, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated Colombia on its 200 years of independence, on behalf on President Barack Obama and the American people.
“On my first visit to Colombia just last month, I was struck not only by the hospitality of the Colombian people and the beauty of Bogota, but by your determination and resilience to overcome significant challenges. I hope that all Colombians celebrating this special day … will pause to appreciate how much you have accomplished,” Clinton said in the statement.
Clinton recognized the close relationship between the U.S. and Colombia over the last ten years, as well the “common values” they share and “a respect for democratic governance, the rule of law, and self-determination.”
The secretary of state cited Colombia’s June presidential elections as an example of the Andean nation’s commitment to the principles of democracy, “including freedom of speech, a free and independent media, and protection of human rights.”
“Colombia’s experience is proof that a strong democratic government that respects civil rights and individual liberties is the surest path to security and prosperity,” Clinton continued.
Clinton finished by wishing all Colombians “a safe and happy bicentennial celebration” and said she looked forward to “the close relationship between our countries in the next year and beyond as we work together toward a safer more prosperous world.”
During her short visit Clinton reaffirmed her country’s support for Colombia in terms of both security and development.