From the offices of U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL):
With Maduro Given Dictatorial Power To Rule By Decree, Venezuela’s Beleaguered Democracy Suffers A Terrible Blow, Says Ros-Lehtinen
“We must not remain silent while this assault on democracy takes place and Venezuela takes another step toward becoming a dictatorship.”
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement following the decision by Venezuela’s National Assembly to grant Maduro decree powers for one year. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“The Venezuelan National Assembly’s decision to give Maduro the power to rule by decree for one year is a terrible blow to democratic institutions that have already been under siege by Maduro. He and his cronies have made clear that they will continue to trample on the individual liberties and democratic rights of the Venezuelan people. Not only did he come to power through an illegitimate election riddled with irregularities and fraud, but his regime has continued Chavez’s practice of intimidating and persecuting journalists, as well as political opponents and critics who seek to shine a light on widespread abuse of state power by Maduro and his henchmen.
“We must not remain silent while this assault on democracy takes place and Venezuela takes another step toward becoming a dictatorship. I urge the Administration and responsible nations in the hemisphere to speak up against this shameless power grab and stand with Venezuelans for the sake of their freedom.”
NOTE: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1687 – Countering ALBA Act of 2013, urging the President to sanction persons of ALBA nations, who the President determines are responsible for serious human rights abuses against citizens of ALBA countries. The bill also directs the Secretary of State to transmit a comprehensive strategy to ensure that ALBA nations are democratic governments committed to making constitutional changes that would ensure regular free and fair elections and the full enjoyment of basic civil liberties and human rights by the citizens of ALBA countries; and have made demonstrable progress in establishing independent judiciaries and electoral councils.