Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed today’s signing of S. 2142, the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014, into law by President Obama.
Rubio, one of the bill’s sponsors, issued the following statement:
“After almost a year of trying to achieve this important measure as a response to Nicolas Maduro’s violent crackdown on innocent Venezuelans, I'm glad these sanctions against corrupt human rights violators in Venezuela are finally the law. Now it’s important that the sanctions be swiftly implemented to help send a message to the Venezuelan people that the American people are on their side as they seek democracy, freedom and respect for human rights.”
S. 2142 directs the President to apply targeted visa and financial sanctions against individuals, including members of the government, public security forces, and armed civilian groups, who have perpetrated, ordered or directed acts of violence or human rights abuses against peaceful demonstrators in Venezuela, or have directed or ordered the arrest or prosecution of a person primarily because of the person’s legitimate exercise of freedom of expression or assembly. S. 2142 also calls for a report on obstacles to access objective media content in Venezuela, current efforts by the U.S. government to address these challenges, and a strategy for expanding existing programs.