(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement after the announcement that the Colombian government and the FARC have reached a peace agreement. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

 “As a strong supporter of Colombia, I believe peace and security in the country are imperative, but they must not come at any cost. While the details of the deal are yet to be published, the fact that dictator Raul Castro played a role in these negotiations must raise serious concerns given the communist regime’s close ties to the FARC.

 “During the peace negotiations, the Colombian government stopped eradication efforts and the level of narcotics being cultivated and produced in Colombia has increased which threatens to further destabilize U.S. interests in the region and especially poses a threat to our allies in Central America. It is worrisome that the FARC can traffic narcotics to raise millions of dollars for its illicit activities to pursue its own political agenda. We have seen in the past, whether it’s Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon, that allowing terrorist organizations too much influence in the political process can undermine peace and stability in a country.”