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Rubio, Cassidy, Cardin: The Upcoming Elections in Venezuela Will Not Be Free, Fair, Nor Democratic

May 31, 2024 | Press Releases

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro continues to actively persecute members of the press, human rights and political activists, as well as the leading members of the Venezuelan opposition, María Corina Machado and members of her team, as part of the regime’s arbitrary crackdown against civil society. 

Ahead of the July 28, 2024 presidential election, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) released a joint statement.

  • “A marked increase in the persecution of civil society, human rights defenders, and political activists in Venezuela in recent months is both unacceptable and detrimental to Venezuelan democracy, particularly ahead of the July 28th election. The ongoing political persecution of María Corina Machado and her team, the arrest of members of her campaign, the refusal to provide safe passage out of the country for democratic opposition members that have sought refuge in the Argentine embassy, the repeated transfer of political prisoners from house detention to centers with brutal human rights conditions, and recent reports of torture against military political prisoners are just some examples. These actions directly undermine conditions required for a free and fair presidential election.
  • “We strongly condemn this dangerous environment of intimidation, which erodes the credibility of the ongoing electoral process, leaving us with little doubt that the July 28th election will not meet conditions to be free, fair, nor democratic. We also call for the immediate closure of all political prisons and torture centers in Venezuela, as well as the immediate release of all political prisoners. It is critical that the Biden Administration impose individual sanctions on officials involved in detaining, trying, and torturing political prisoners in Venezuela, including judges, clerks, prison guards, interrogators, and anyone who played a role in such actions.”

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