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On Wednesday, the U.S. House voted to extend sanctions on the Maduro regime in Venezuela for another three years with members of the Florida delegation leading the charge. 

Originally sponsored by Florida Republican Marco Rubio and New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez in the Senate, the sanctions target “government officials and others in Venezuela who violate human rights, suppress political opposition, and commit violence against peaceful protestors.”

The sanctions now extend until the end of 2019. Having signed the first round of sanctions back in 2014, President Barack Obama is expected to back this latest effort as well. 

“I am proud that Congress has once again stood with the Venezuelan people by extending these sanctions, and now the Obama administration must do its part by fully implementing this law against the many human rights violators in the Maduro regime,” Rubio said on Wednesday. “As the despicable Maduro regime continues to violate the rights of its own people, it is our duty as a country to continue to do everything we can to address the catastrophe that has become Venezuela. By extending these sanctions, we are reinforcing our commitment to those innocent people in our hemisphere who are subject to the abuses of the Maduro regime.  I call on President Obama to fully implement these sanctions and use all the tools at his disposal, including financial sanctions as well as visa bans, to hold those responsible for human rights violations in Venezuela accountable for their actions.”

“For far too long, the international community has neglected the growing conditions that could bring Venezuela – a failed state in the waiting – again to the brink of widespread civil unrest,” said Menendez. “I believe that it’s only American leadership that will spark the meaningful international reaction that could reverse the profound violations of human rights and systemic abuses of authority that characterize Maduro’s grip on power.  With the extension of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act, we have taken one small step.  I urge our partners and allies in the Hemisphere and around the world to adopt similar measures to pressure the Maduro regime and to stand strong together in support of Venezuela’s civil society.”

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