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ICYMI: Rubio: Stop Appeasing Venezuela’s Narco-regime

Jun 18, 2024 | Comunicados de Prensa

President Biden should stop appeasing Venezuela’s regime

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

June 18, 2024

Miami Herald

President Joe Biden…has routinely appeased our nation’s adversaries, only to reward their aggression and criminality…. Consider the events of the last six months. 

[Venezuelan narco-dictator Nicolás] Maduro violently suppressed peaceful protestors, threatened war against his neighbors, and hosted terrorist groups, but faced no repercussions from the White House. Instead, President Biden helped create a United Nations-operated assistance fund for the regime; lifted sanctions from its oil, gas, and gold sectors; and released a Maduro ally and convicted money launderer, Alex Saab, from U.S. prison.

The president hoped these rewards would convince Maduro to…permit free and fair elections next month. But…the narco-dictator…used the economic windfall to consolidate his grip on power, then banned the opposition’s presidential candidate, María Corina Machado, from running against him….

[T]he Biden Administration is contemplating additional sanctions relief, in the form of specific licenses for U.S. firms to do business in Venezuela, in the hopes that further rewards will encourage Maduro to do the right thing. The facts, however, suggest the opposite is likely….

Last month…, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, hand-picked by Maduro’s closest cronies, revoked an invitation for the European Union to send international observers to the upcoming elections…. Maduro is [also] positioning the opposition to take the blame for the forced sale of CITGO, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, which the narco-dictatorship’s own incompetence has loaded with debt. This proves Maduro, consistent with his record, is already playing dirty to keep himself in power….

Every American should hope for Venezuela to return to freedom and democracy. The way to pursue that is to demand that international observers supervise the elections and build a coalition of nations to reject the results of a flawed election…. Above all, the Biden Administration must tell Maduro and his cronies that Venezuela will receive not a cent of American money if he makes the wrong decision.

Regrettably, however, the administration has taken none of these steps….

Read the rest here.