Cúcuta, Colombia – The Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, visited a shelter on Sunday and the Simón Bolívar international bridge, the main border crossing Colombia with Venezuela, where in the company of the president Iván Duque could approach the crisis of the South American country.
Pompeo, who arrived this afternoon in Cúcuta, capital of the Colombian department of Norte de Santander, went first to a shelter that welcomes Venezuelan immigrants, where he met with Duque and his vice president, Marta Lucía Ramírez, as well as with Humberto Calderón Berti, ambassador in Colombia of which is considered interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó.
In that place, the Transitory Migrant Attention Center (CATM), attended by the Colombian Foreign Ministry, the UN and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Pompeo and Duque talked with some Venezuelan immigrants, including children, who told them the hardships that live in your country.
At the end of the tour of the hostel, Pompeo signed a mural of visitors in which he wrote in English "Blessings to you all" (Blessings for all).
Duque signed below with the phrase: "We are united with solidarity and affection."
Later the delegation moved to the Simón Bolívar Bridge, which connects Cúcuta with the Venezuelan city of San Antonio del Táchira, where in the midst of a cloud of journalists and bodyguards with armored shields crossed the Colombian side and heard cries of "freedom, freedom "from a crowd of Venezuelans.
The Secretary of State and the president shook hands with some of the Venezuelans who beat the protection fences to call attention to the cry of "Duke, help us."
"We have received 1.5 million people in the last two years and obviously we have tried to work around this with fraternity, regularizing most of the people who have come to Colombia," Duque told journalists in English, next to Pompeo. .
The president added that this immense migratory flow "has obviously created a very large social and economic impact," but reiterated Colombia's willingness "to help Venezuelans who are escaping the dictatorship of (Nicolás) Maduro"
Once the tour of the Simón Bolívar bridge ended, Pompeo and Duque moved to the warehouses that store humanitarian aid, sent mostly by the United States government, on the Colombian side of the Tienditas bridge.
In Tienditas, built to connect the metropolitan area of Cúcuta with the Venezuelan town of Ureña, in the Táchira state, but never inaugurated, Pompeo will have a meeting with Duque and later give a statement to the press.
Cúcuta is the closing stage of a Pompeo tour of South America focused on the crisis in Venezuela and which also took it to Chile, Paraguay and Peru.
This is Pompeo's second visit to Colombia this year since he was in Cartagena on January 2, where he spoke with Duque about the Venezuelan crisis and the fight against drug trafficking.