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Rubio Comments on State Department’s 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

Mar 12, 2020 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, issued the following statement after the State Department published its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices:

“The annual State Department’s Human Rights report once again highlights the ongoing violations of individual’s most fundamental freedoms. Journalists are targeted for their work, religious freedom remains under assault and democratic values are constantly threatened by authoritarian regimes.

“In China, the government sanctions grave human rights abuses, including the mass internment of over one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. In Syria, the Assad dictatorship backed by war criminal Vladimir Putin and the terror sponsoring regime in Tehran is committing horrific atrocities against the Syrian people. The North Korea regime uses torture and arbitrary detentions to prevent any disruption to its power. In our own hemisphere, the despotic regime in Cuba continues to violate and undermine the fundamental rights of its citizens through arbitrary arrests against civilians and other methods of repression including, torture, abuse of political dissidents, and prisoners by security forces. Nicaragua’s lack of basic freedoms, under the Ortega regime, evidence how through abuse of power members of the Ortega family undermine the country’s democratic order and violate the human rights of its people through censorship and the use of armed forces including attacks against the Roman Catholic Church. In Venezuela, the Maduro narco-regime, which poses a direct threat to U.S. national security threat has created a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Through extrajudicial killings led by the FAES and the SEBIN, as well as the regime’s use of repressive colectivos, the Maduro crime-family continues to epitomize its savagery and brutality.

“While the report makes for a depressing read, the U.S. should take this moment to recommit to being a beacon of light to the darkest corners of the world. As Americans, who enjoy the blessings of freedom, we have a moral obligation to use our voice to speak for the voiceless and defend human rights wherever they are threatened.”