Mr. Speaker, for the last 5 years, civilians Keith Stansell, Thomas Howes, and Marc Gonsalves have been held hostage and bound by chains in the jungles of Colombia. Their captors were the Communist thugs: FARC.
The three American captors lived in constant fear and squalor along with hundreds of other hostages, mostly Colombians. These three men were held longer than any other American citizens currently being held captive in the world.
They also had 5 years of their lives stolen from them. During the last 5 years, they were unaware of most world events, including the birth of Stansell's twins, the invasion of Iraq, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Red Sox breaking the curse and winning the World Series, gasoline prices tripling, and the University of Texas defeating Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship.
FARC is an insurgent terrorist group that funds its activities by working with the drug cartels and kidnapping people and holding them for ransom.
But thanks to the people and the Government of Colombia, the three Americans and 20 others were rescued from the outlaws in a stealth, covert operation. We are glad the Americans are home, and our gratitude goes to the people of Colombia.
And that's just the way it is.
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