Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Congressman Xavier Becerra, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, released the following statement commending Arturo Valenzuela for his service as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America.

“Arturo Valenzuela has served ably as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. The announcement of his departure to return to teaching at Georgetown is a gain for that University, but a loss for the U.S. government.

“We owe Arturo a debt of gratitude for deftly steering US policy in a region undergoing dramatic change. During his tenure, the U.S. worked with other nations in the region to respond to the coup in Honduras, enhanced our bilateral relationship with Brazil, significantly enhanced cooperation with Mexico on difficult security issues, and expanded joint security and counter-narcotics programs in Central America and Caribbean.

“Despite those important accomplishments, much more remains to be done to fulfill the ideals of the hemispheric partnership outlined by President Obama in a speech during his recent trip to the Americas. The United States will have to become even more engaged in the region, and strengthen efforts to build productive and sustainable relationships with our neighbors.

“We applaud Arturo Valenzuela’s service to our nation and wish him the very best.”