Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today led a group of bipartisan senators in urging Secretary of State John Kerry to lead a diplomatic effort to deny Venezuela a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

In addition to Rubio, the letter was signed by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), John McCain (R-AZ) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

In the letter to Kerry, the senators highlighted the gross human rights violations committed under the oppressive Maduro regime, and argued that granting Venezuela a seat on the UNSC would undermine the Administration’s goal of promoting international peace and security.

“In addition to President Maduro’s vocal disdain for the United Nations, his government’s actions, at the U.N. and at home, run counter to the founding principles and norms of the U.N. Charter, namely the pursuit of international peace and security and the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people,” wrote the senators. “Venezuela’s membership on the U.N. Security Council would constitute a serious blow for the United States and United Nations at a time when we must collaborate to address the world’s most pressing challenges.”

“In closing, we appeal to you to undertake a broad based diplomatic campaign to prevent Venezuela from assuming a seat on the U.N. Security Council,” the senators added.

A PDF of the letter is available here. The full text of the letter is below:

October 9, 2014

The Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We urge you to lead a diplomatic effort at the United Nations to deny Venezuela a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

In addition to President Maduro’s vocal disdain for the United Nations, his government’s actions, at the U.N. and at home, run counter to the founding principles and norms of the U.N. Charter, namely the pursuit of international peace and security and the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people.  Venezuela’s membership on the U.N. Security Council would constitute a serious blow for the United States and United Nations at a time when we must collaborate to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

At the United Nations, the Maduro Administration has collaborated with a fringe group of autocratic governments on the most critical issues of our era.  In 2013, Venezuela joined ranks with Belarus, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe to oppose the U.N. General Assembly’s denunciation of acts of violence committed by the Syrian government against its own people.  Earlier this year, Venezuela once again aligned itself with the same bloc to vote against the U.N. General Assembly’s condemnation of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

In our own hemisphere, the Maduro Administration is deliberately working to undermine the democratic commitments of the Organization of American States and debilitate the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  Moreover, since February of this year, President Maduro’s security forces systematically have sought to silence peaceful protests across the country, resulting in more than 40 deaths, more than 2,200 unlawful arrests, and at least 50 documented cases of torture.

In closing, we appeal to you to undertake a broad based diplomatic campaign to prevent Venezuela from assuming a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

Sincerely,