Cúcuta, August 26, 2015 (SIG).
“The manner in which these Colombians have been expelled from Venezuelan territory is not admissible, under any circumstances: they have left their sons and daughters behind, some of them kids, like the 12 year old daughter of a mother who told me her history, whose child was left at the other side of the border while her mother was thrown out of the place where she had lived for many years”.
This was stated by President Juan Manuel Santos after visiting the shelters in Cúcuta where the Colombians deported from Venezuela are staying, and overseeing the attention being provided by national government entities.
“Their houses, their belongings, their ID documents have been destroyed”, the Head of State said, after reiterating that they have arrived to their house, to their home, and that they will receive the necessary support.
"But I want to say to all of you, with all the indignation this brings upon me, as a Colombian citizen and president of this country, to all these people who have been deported, to all of those who have returned, that in Colombia you are at home. You have not come back as foreigners, you are not strangers in your homeland”, President Santos said.
And he reiterated: “We receive you here with open hearts and arms”.
I say to these Colombians who are arriving to the country that the national government will provide the necessary support for you to prosper, to feel at home and rebuild your lives.
“You may remain absolutely certain that all my government, all of us will do and are doing everything we can to make you feel that way, to make you feel in your fatherland, in your homes”, he stated.
The president said that several cabinet members have arrived to the city to continue the accompaniment and support work that has been set up since day one of this crisis.
“Our priority has been, and will continue to be, to offer all possible humanitarian aid to those who have lost their homes”, he said.
He also added: “We are voicing our protest and demanding the Venezuelan authorities to show respect for the dignity of the Colombian people, respect for these families which are not paramilitary members; they are poor families, humble families who are only asking to let them live, to let them work”.
He told them that, in fulfilling his duties, he will protect them: “As the President of all of you, I have an obligation to protect you against all kinds of abuse, and I will protect you. We understand your pain, your outrage, your feeling of impotence and humiliation, and we are doing all that we can to help you”.
In concluding, the Head of State said: “I have not come here today to speak about Venezuela or to Venezuela. I am here for the Colombian people, and I must say that raising our voice and raising the volume of the confrontation will not help to solve your problems. I came to tell the hundreds of deported Colombians that your country is here, your President and your government are here, to support you in everything possible”.
“You are not and you will not be alone! You are home!” he emphasized.