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English/Español: Rubio Joins Cruz in Introducing Bill to Use Funds Seized From Corrupt Chavez and Maduro Cronies for the Venezuelan People

Apr 29, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the Preserving Accountability for National Assets Act of 2021 (PANA Act). The bill would take assets seized from individuals connected to the Chavez and Maduro regimes who are convicted of corruption and place them in a “Venezuela Restoration Fund” that the U.S. State Department can then use to build up Venezuelan democracy and civil society.

“I’m proud to join this effort which would utilize assets recovered from the despotic Maduro and Chavez regimes,” Rubio said. “Venezuela has a long way towards recovery and these funds can help the interim administration and the democratically elected National Assembly as they work towards a common goal of rebuilding Venezuela’s democracy and a prosperous future.”

“Corrupt individuals connected to the Chavez and Maduro regimes stole hundreds of billions of dollars from the people of Venezuela, leaving the country impoverished,” Cruz said. “The people of Venezuela deserve to get that money back. This bill will hold bad actors accountable and provide much-needed support to those working to restore freedom  in Venezuela.”

Background:

The U.S. has identified corrupt Venezuelan government officials who were complicit in the theft of hundreds of billions of stolen U.S. dollars. In response, the Department of Justice has slowly recovered assets by prosecuting these individuals. By April 2020, federal authorities in Florida had seized $450 million in assets in Venezuelan corruption cases, including cash, property, and even horses. In 2020, there were an estimated $1.5 billion in assets within U.S. jurisdiction. As of February 2021, there were 38 pending cases involving 164 individuals.

The PANA Act would use the funds seized in those cases to – strengthen democratic governance and institutions, defend internationally recognized human rights for the people of Venezuela, support the efforts of independent media outlets, combat corruption, and improve the transparency and accountability of institutions that have been part of the Chavez or Maduro regimes.

Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.

RUBIO Y CRUZ PRESENTAN LEY PARA USAR FONDOS ADJUDICADOS A SECUACES CORRUPTOS DE CHÁVEZ Y MADURO PARA EL PUEBLO VENEZOLANO

Washington, DC – Los senadores estadounidenses Marco Rubio (R-FL) y Ted Cruz (R-TX) presentaron la Ley de Preservación de la Responsabilidad por los Activos Nacionales del 2021 (Ley PANA). El proyecto de ley tomaría activos incautados de personas vinculadas a los regímenes de Chávez y Maduro y que fueron condenados por corrupción. Estos fondos serían colocados en un “Fondo de Restauración de Venezuela” para ser utilizados por el Departamento de Estado para fortalecer la democracia y la sociedad civil venezolana.

“Me enorgullece unirme a este esfuerzo que utilizaría activos recuperados de los regímenes de Maduro y Chávez”, Rubio dijo. “Venezuela tiene un largo camino para su recuperación y estos fondos pueden ayudar a la administración interina y a la Asamblea Nacional electa democráticamente en su trabajo hacia el objetivo común de reconstruir la democracia y un futuro próspero en Venezuela”.

Rubio es el Miembro de Más Alto Rango del Subcomité sobre Hemisferio Occidental, Crimen Transnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Globales de la Mujer.