U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a resolution in the Senate condemning the ongoing efforts by Maduro’s regime to call for a legislative election this December. The upcoming fraudulent elections will not meet minimum democratic standards and are a direct attack on the National Assembly, the only democratically elected institution left in Venezuela.
The bipartisan resolution recognizes that in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution, and as current president of the National Assembly, interim president Juan Guaidó is the legitimate leader of the country in the absence of a democratically elected president in Venezuela. The resolution also denounces the efforts of Maduro’s regime to hold fraudulent elections and reaffirms that U.S. policy towards Venezuela is based on promoting a democratic electoral process where the Venezuelan people can freely choose their leaders.
The resolution is sponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“No one should be fooled: Maduro’s goal, through these so-called legislative elections, is to silence the voices of the democratically elected National Assembly members,” Rubio said. “Following Maduro’s selection of an illegitimate Constituent Assembly, and his record of calling for fraudulent elections, the international community must unite to condemn this false process and support the Venezuelan people.”
“As Maduro’s regime seeks to maintain its grip on power by going after Venezuela’s last surviving democratic institution, this resolution sends a clear bipartisan message rejecting this latest effort to mock Venezuela’s decimated democracy,” said Menendez. “The world does not need more evidence that Venezuelans are desperate for fundamental change away from Maduro’s regime and its destruction of the nation. Having already caused the worst humanitarian crisis in our hemisphere, Maduro’s reliance on deceit, repression and crimes against humanity only exacerbates the suffering of Venezuelans.”
“Two years after a discredited election, Maduro is pushing another fraudulent election to try to dismantle the National Assembly, one of the last legitimate democratic institutions in Venezuela,” said Durbin. “In the midst of a pandemic and a heartbreaking Venezuelan refugee crisis, we cannot allow Maduro to push Venezuela further into the abyss with another bogus vote. I am proud to stand with my colleagues, interim President Juan Guaidó and the Venezuelan people in calling for legitimate presidential and legislative elections to build the democratic and prosperous country that Venezuelans deserve.”
“As we continue to fight for free and fair elections in Latin America and around the world, we must recognize Maduro’s false election as a pathetic attempt by the regime to create the false appearance of democracy,” Scott said. “This is nothing more than a trick designed to further oppress the Venezuelan people. The United States, and freedom-loving countries around the world, must denounce Maduro’s desperate attempts to hold on to power and continue to support the people of Venezuela.”
“The Venezuelan people deserve transparent, free and fair elections, and we must continue to work with our international allies to support the return of legitimate democracy in Venezuela,” Cardin said. “As Venezuela experiences one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, we must support efforts to facilitate access for humanitarian organizations, urge the release of political prisoners, and call for an end to arbitrary detentions and violence against political opponents and those fighting for civil and human rights.”
Rubio is the Chairman and Cardin the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civil Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.