2009 -- H 6259

Enacted 06/10/09


H O U S E  R E S O L U T I O N




     Introduced By: Representatives Silva, Vaudreuil, Williams, Almeida, and Diaz

     Date Introduced: June 10, 2009



     WHEREAS, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Colombia’s 39th President, is a man of extraordinary

accomplishments. Re-elected on May 28th of 2006, he is currently serving in his second term, and

is the first president to be consecutively re-elected in Colombia in over a century; and  

     WHEREAS, A brilliant and highly educated man, President Vélez studied law at the

University of Antioquia, and attended Harvard University, where he completed a post-graduate

certificate in administration and management. In 1998 through 2002, he studied at St. Antony’s

College, Oxford University on a British Council Simón Bolívar scholarship; and  

     WHEREAS, President Vélez began his career in government serving in the Medellín

Public Enterprises, the Ministry of Labor, and the Civil Aeronautic. In 1982, he became Mayor of

Medellín, and later served as a Senator from 1986 until 1994. In 1995, he became Governor of

Antioquia, and in 2002 he was elected President of Colombia; and  

     WHEREAS, During his tenure, President Vélez has been instrumental in promoting

economic growth, human rights and national security for the people of his country, and has

worked diligently on developing Free Trade Agreements with numerous countries. He has earned

a plethora of awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest

civilian award; and  

     WHEREAS, Colombia has long-standing historical ties with America and has provided

unwavering support for the United States through a policy of cooperation and friendship. The

United States, as well as the State of Rhode Island, have a large Colombian community, with

more than an estimated 10,000 people of Colombian descent living in the Ocean State,

particularly in the Blackstone Valley area; and  

     WHEREAS, President Vélez’s visit to Rhode Island marks the first time a currently

serving Colombian President will visit New England. On Thursday, June 11th , President Vélez is

visiting the Central Falls High School, and will also be addressing the 77th annual Conference of

Mayors during his stay in Rhode Island; and  

     WHEREAS, President Vélez has achieved goals that very few people would have dared

to dream were even possible. He has and continues to shape a brighter future for the people of

Colombia and the world community, and he is eminently worthy of our recognition and praise;

now, therefore be it  

     RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and

Providence Plantations hereby welcomes President Vélez to our state. We wish him good health,

and we have every confidence that his future will be filled with achievement, success and

happiness; and be it further 

     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and he hereby is authorized and directed to

transmit a duly certified copy of this resolution to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe Vélez.