Curbelo: New Sanctions Show U.S. Stands With the Freedom-Loving People of Venezuela

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Washington, D.C., July 26, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) released the following statement commenting on the announcement the U.S. will sanction several of Nicolas Maduro’s senior officials after the decision to ignore the results of the recent plebiscite and proceed with the National Constituent Assembly:

“Once again, this Administration is sending a strong message the United States will no longer stand by and allow Nicolas Maduro to ignore the will of the freedom-loving people of Venezuela. For years Maduro – and the thugs he has appointed to senior positions in his regime – have twisted and manipulated the Venezuelan constitution to violate the political and human rights of the people of Venezuela. The results of the recent vote were clear: the people of Venezuela do not support rewriting the constitution for Maduro’s personal benefit. I am grateful for the President’s decisiveness on this issue, and I look forward to continuing to work with this Administration and my colleagues here in Congress to stand in solidarity with the democratic opposition and people of Venezuela.”

Ahead of the announcement today, Curbelo took to the House floor yesterday to address the situation in Venezuela and commend the Administration’s warnings to the Maduro regime.

A transcript of Curbelo’s remarks is below. A video of the full speech is available here.

U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo
Washington, D.C.
https://youtu.be/PcaG7RxgmwM

Representative Carlos Curbelo: “Mr. Speaker, Venezuela, once a beacon of economic prosperity in South America, has descended into chaos and turmoil.  An oil rich nation, it now struggles as Maduro's policies have led Venezuela to having the hemisphere's highest inflation rate, resulting in critical shortages of food and medicine, as well as the collapse of the Venezuelan currency and rampant crime.

“The Maduro regime’s incompetence in managing Venezuela’s finances and systemic corruption has led to a crackdown on human rights and violence against democratic demonstrators. The country is lurching towards single-party, totalitarian rule.

“Rather than working with the opposition to serve the interests of the Venezuelan people, Maduro is using his influence to grasp onto power. First, by having his henchmen on the Supreme Court attempt to strip the National Assembly of its powers, and now, by calling for an un-elected Constituent Assembly to rewrite Venezuela’s Constitution. This is just another attempt to usurp and replace Venezuela’s democratic National Assembly, with a puppet parliament loyal only to him.

“This idea was recently rejected by 98% of the 7.2 million Venezuelans that participated a non-binding referendum last week.

“Fortunately, the United States has been quick to show solidarity with these freedom-loving people. I am grateful for the President’s show of support and his direct warning to Maduro of the ‘strong and swift economic actions’ the United States will take if he proceeds with the Constituent Assembly.

“The United States will no longer stand by and watch Maduro and his thugs ignore human rights and the rule of law. There is a bipartisan consensus that Maduro’s undemocratic and tyrannical rule is unacceptable.  All options are on the table, and I look forward to continuing to work with this Administration and my colleagues here in Congress to stand in solidarity with the democratic opposition and people of Venezuela.”

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