Marco Rubio Calls on Joe Biden Not to Back Down Against the Maduro Regime

At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to publicly reaffirm the United States’ existing policy toward Venezuela and invite the interim government to the upcoming Summit of the Americas.

The letter is below.

Dear Mr. President:

I write to express serious concern that actions taken by your administration threaten to erode the international recognition and legitimacy of Juan Guaidó as the Interim President of Venezuela and of the National Assembly. To avoid any confusion, I urge you to publicly reaffirm the United States’ recognition of Juan Guaidó as the Interim President of Venezuela and commit there will be no change in U.S. policy so long as Nicolás Maduro continues to block free and fair elections.

This public declaration is only necessary because senior members of your administration flew to Caracas to negotiate with the Maduro regime to explore the possibility of importing oil from Venezuela. Not only were those negotiations foolish since the Venezuelan oil industry is in shambles, but troubling, because they gave legitimacy to an illegitimate regime and blindsided important allies in the region, including Colombia.

As you are well aware, other nations took the message as a signal that they too could restore relations with Maduro. It is no coincidence that Argentina reestablished diplomatic relations with Maduro’s regime a month later. In the absence of American leadership, other nations are likely to follow Argentina’s lead. In fact, Argentine President Alberto Fernández called on “all Latin American countries to do the same.” In the weeks since that meeting, the regime’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced agreements or hosted delegations from approximately 34 countries, including five countries that previously recognized Juan Guaidó as the Interim President in 2019.

While refusing to invite the Maduro regime to the Ninth Summit of the Americas was a justified decision, it does not overcome the damage done by keeping Guaidó on the sidelines during your failed negotiations with Maduro. Without urgent action from your administration, we will only see more countries normalize relations with a regime that continues to oppress the Venezuelan people. Therefore, I respectfully request an update on the United States’ overall diplomatic strategy to maintain a coalition united for a free and democratic Venezuela.

The United States must send a clear, unmistakable signal to Maduro, the people of Venezuela, and the international community that Juan Guaidó remains the legitimate Interim President of Venezuela and that our policy on Venezuela continues to recognize him as such.

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

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