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Rubio: Mirroring Castros, Maduro Regime Denies Freedom To Political Prisoner Leopoldo Lopez

Aug 13, 2016 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner in Venezuela whose appeal was denied yesterday by a Nicolas Maduro-controlled court:
“Venezuela is crumbling and becoming a failed state under Nicolas Maduro, and his unconstitutional stacking of the country’s judiciary is evidence of his desperation to hold on to power by any means necessary. The people of Venezuela don’t want him there, and they should be allowed to exercise their right under the country’s constitution to remove him at the ballot box, if they so choose.
“Leopoldo Lopez should be a free man at home with his family and able to advocate openly for a better future in Venezuela. The only thing standing in his way is Nicolas Maduro’s unconstitutional stacking of the country’s judiciary with judges who are not independent and are only loyal to him.
“Leopoldo Lopez’s case highlights the fact that we have ongoing repression in Venezuela and Cuba today, the very regimes in the hemisphere that President Obama has tried hardest to engage despite their poor human rights records. Leopoldo is one of many political prisoners in Venezuela who have lost years of their lives to a repressive government. In Cuba, we have Guillermo Fariñas and Carlos Amel on the verge of death because of hunger strikes against the Castro regime’s repression. The destiny of Cuba and Venezuela alike is to be free and prosperous, but that dream continues to be delayed as long as these leaders remain targets of their governments.
“President Obama has failed to be a credible voice for freedom in the Americas. His policies have led him to cozy up to repressive leaders while enriching them with the very money they use to pay for state police, prison guards, surveillance equipment and weapons that are used against political opponents.”