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ICYMI: Rubio Calls Out Biden’s Softness on Maduro

Feb 6, 2024 | Press Releases

Biden Goes Soft on Nicolás Maduro

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

February 6, 2024

Wall Street Journal

…Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro told Mr. Biden in October that he would permit a free and fair presidential election this year. Instead, Mr. Maduro has banned his leading opponent, María Corina Machado, from running for 15 years….

Mr. Biden has responded by restoring sanctions only on Venezuela’s state-owned gold-mining company. He’s waiting until April to restore sanctions on Venezuela’s oil and gas sector, allowing Mr. Maduro to spend two months shoring up his tyranny. Even after the April deadline, the dictator would be free to sell some sanction-free natural gas and trade off his regime’s debt.

This is an outrageously weak response from a president. For one, this sanction doesn’t help the people of Venezuela. The meager growth that Venezuela’s economy experienced last year has been more than offset by the empowerment of its oppressive regime….

Mr. Biden’s decision embarrasses the U.S. The more we don’t enforce red lines, the more our adversaries are likely to attack. Our weakness in the Middle East has cost the lives of three Americans, with many more injured. We must re-establish our international credibility, and fast. If emboldened, Mr. Maduro might invade nearby Guyana, which could jeopardize the security of America’s oil and bauxite supply chains….

I urge Mr. Blinken to hold fast to the commitments he made last October. If not, I will ask him to come before Congress to explain the reason for Mr. Biden’s unconscionable delay.

Read the rest here.