Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–are behind a proposal condemning the upcoming Venezuelan legislative elections.
This week, Rubio, who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the resolution “condemning the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to hold fraudulent legislative elections scheduled for this December” with the support of several senators including Scott and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, the top Democrat on the committee.
“The upcoming fraudulent elections will fail to meet minimal democratic standards and are a direct attack against the nation’s National Assembly, the only remaining democratically-elected institution in Venezuela,” Rubio’s office noted. “The bipartisan resolution recognizes that according to the Venezuelan constitution, and as president of the National Assembly, Interim President Juan Guaidó serves as the nation’s legitimate leader in the absence of a democratically elected president of Venezuela. It also denounces the Maduro regime’s efforts 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 elect their leaders.”
Other backers include U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Mary., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Tim Kaine, D-Va.
“No one should be fooled: Maduro’s objective through these so-called legislative elections is to silence the voices of the members of the democratically-elected National Assembly,” Rubio said after he introduced the resolution on Tuesday. “Following Maduro’s selection of an illegitimate alternative to the National Assembly, and his track record of holding fraudulent elections, the international community must join together in condemning this sham process and support the Venezuelan people.”
“As we continue to fight for free and fair elections in Latin America and around the world, we must recognize Maduro’s sham election as a pathetic attempt by the regime to create the false appearance of democracy,” Scott said. “This is nothing more than a stunt designed to further oppress the Venezuelan people. The United States, and freedom-loving countries around the world, must denounce Maduro’s desperate attempts to cling power, and continue to stand with the people of Venezuela.”
“As the Maduro 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 make a mockery of Venezuela’s decimated democracy,” Menendez said. “The world does not need further proof that Venezuelans are desperate for fundamental change away from the Maduro regime and its destruction of their nation. Having already caused the worst humanitarian crisis in our hemisphere, Maduro’s reliance on deceit, repression, and crimes against humanity is only exacerbating Venezuelans’ suffering.”
“Two years after a discredited election, Maduro is pushing yet another fraudulent election to try to dismantle the National Assembly, one of Venezuela’s last legitimate democratic institutions,” Durbin said. “Amid a pandemic and heartbreaking Venezuelan refugee crisis, we cannot allow Maduro to further push Venezuela into the abyss with another sham vote. I’m 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.”
“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 for the release of political prisoners, and call for the end of arbitrary detentions and violence against political opponents and those fighting for civil and human rights.”
The resolution was sent to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.