Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan hosted Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez at the Pentagon to reaffirm the close partnership between the United States and Colombia and to discuss the ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela.
Shanahan thanked Ramírez for the support her country is providing to address the Venezuelan crisis, and he praised the robust military partnership between the United States and Colombia.
In discussing the situation in Venezuela, the acting secretary described the country as "one of the most critically important challenges to our hemisphere’s peace and prosperity."
The two leaders pledged to work as a team to find a peaceful resolution to the Venezuelan crisis, and to make sure that malign actors are not able to destabilize the already-fragile environment.
Shanahan also congratulated Colombia on its NATO Global Partnership and recognized Colombian counternarcotics efforts. The acting secretary also announced the USNS Comfort hospital ship will return to that region in June to provide assistance to the health care systems of countries, including Colombia, that are affected by the influx of Venezuelan migrants and refugees.