Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Urges Pompeo to Bring Home Constituents Stuck on Foreign Soil

Mar 31, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today urged Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to take more forceful action to help retrieve his constituents who are stuck on foreign soil amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

“I am very concerned that people from my congressional district, among others,  have reported difficulties getting assistance from U.S. embassies in foreign countries and have been unable to secure flights home,”  Buchanan said in a letter to Pompeo. Buchanan also spoke Monday night with a State Dept. official.

Buchanan has been working with U.S. embassies across the globe to bring home the following residents of his district:

  • Kendra Simpkins of Sarasota, Florida, is in the midst of a 21-day quarantine in New Delhi, India and has had five flights canceled. She was recently named Sarasota female veteran of the year.
  • Daniel Orzech of Bradenton remains in Lima, Peru, where he has been “under quarantine since March 15th”.
  • Cindy Alejandra Gutierrez Ramirez, and her daughter, Cristina Brier Gutierrez Ramirez of Lithia, Florida, remains in Medellin, Colombia.

 “I join their families and friends who are anxiously awaiting their swift return to U.S. soil.  Please act immediately to provide information to my constituents and help arrange evacuation flights home,” wrote Buchanan. "It's frightening for these people to find themselves trapped on foreign soil and unable to get home because of travel restrictions. We need to be doing everything possible to secure their return."