House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spent some of the congressional recess in South America, which included visiting the Colombia-Venezuela border, where he expressed support for the Venezuelan people and condemned president Nicolas Maduro as he clings to power and citizens suffer.

“The criminal regime and those that have made a gorgeous country like Venezuela … what we have seen firsthand today, families that have to come here every three days [to Colombia] to buy milk because they don’t have electricity to refrigerate it, others who don’t even have access to medicine and it takes them half a day to walk here,” McCarthy said.

“The U.S. is with you … we want to restore liberty,” McCarthy said.

Several other lawmakers joined the congressional delegation, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), Mike Rogers (R-AL), Steve Womack (R-AR), Peter Welch (D-VT), David Joyce (R-OH), Mike Johnson (R-LA), and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA).

The Bakersfield Californian reported that the delegation was at the Colombia-Venezuela border and spoke with some Venezuelans who were crossing by foot.

“After speaking with the families, McCarthy told the press who was gathered at the border, ‘Let us be clear,’ said McCarthy. ‘To all the people in Venezuela who love liberty and want freedom, we support you,’” reported the Californian.

Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez met with McCarthy and the delegation in the city of Cartagena, where they discussed counter-narcotic efforts, trade, and Venezuela, according to the Californian.

“The United States supports Colombia’s efforts to move forward,” McCarthy said in a press release about the trip. “We are united in the battle against drug trafficking and in bringing about a lasting resolution to the crisis in Venezuela.”

“The pursuit of freedom will triumph over the devastation of socialism,” McCarthy said.

The delegation also visited Buenos Aires, Argentina, where it met with U.S. Ambassador Edward Prado and Vice Minister Paola Di Chiaro of the Argentinian Ministry of Defense.

“Our visit is a symbol of the enduring partnership between the United States and Argentina,” McCarthy said in a statement. “From combating terrorism to ensuring a positive outcome to the crisis in Venezuela, our alliance with Argentina is an important one — and it will be for years to come.”

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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