Ambassador Duke Buchan III traveled to Colombia November 5-7 to see first-hand the situation of Venezuelan refugees who have fled their country due to the Maduro regime.
In Bogotá, Ambassador Buchan discussed the situation with the US Ambassador to Colombia, Philip Goldberg, and officials from the Colombian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, the UNHCR, IOM Chief of Mission, UNICEF, the Red Cross and other institutions supporting the Venezuelan people and monitoring the situation on the border.
Ambassador Buchan then traveled to Cúcuta on the Colombian-Venezuelan border, accompanied by Colombian Foreign Ministry advisor Germán Castañeda. At the Simon Bolivar Bridge, he saw the reality of 40,000 Venezuelans crossing the frontier every day. He visited the Center for Transitional Assistance for Migrants (CATM), which provides desperately needed temporary shelter, food and health services. At Cúcuta’s Divina Providencia comedor (community kitchen), Ambassador Buchan met some of the 5,000 migrants who receive hot meals every day. At the Erasmo Meoz Hospital, Ambassador Buchan thanked the hospital staff for their service to residents of Cúcuta and bordering towns and communities, noting that 176,000 Venezuelans have received treatment to the generosity of the Colombian government.
Ambassador Buchan remains resolute that “the time is now for Maduro to go.” He added, “During my time in Cúcuta, I was impressed by all that Colombia is doing to support the Venezuelan people. Spain and the EU can and should do more to support this vulnerable population. We all must do more to support the Venezuelan people, including in their fight for democratic change.”