First it was Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R) having travelled to Colombia to assess the humanitarian crisis occurring in Venezuela, now fellow Floridians, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Shalala, have flown down to the Venezuela-Colombian border see for themselves how the Maduro regime has stymied humanitarian assistance into his country.
According to joint press release, the two congresswomen met with Colombian President Ivan Duque, his cabinet, and Venezuela exiles, in addition to doing the following:
- Traveled to the Tienditas Bridge, where in February the Maduro military forces placed barricades to block aid that was ready to be delivered.
- Visited the Tienditas warehouse in Cúcuta, Colombia, where humanitarian assistance is staged and ready for the people of Venezuela.
- Walked the Simón Bolívar Bridge on the Colombia-Venezuela border, the second bridge that Maduro blocked to prevent aid from being delivered.
- Went to Erasmo Meoz Hospital in Cúcuta, Colombia, where Venezuelan migrants have received medical care to treat diseases and malnourishment.
“As the people of Venezuela continue to face a catastrophic humanitarian crisis caused by the dictatorial Maduro regime, the United States and our allies in Latin America stand united as we work together to help the Venezuelan people receive lifesaving humanitarian assistance,” said Shalala. “While visiting the Venezuela–Colombia border, we heard heartbreaking stories of friends and family members dying of starvation and treatable diseases, all while a brutal dictator does everything possible to prevent aid from being delivered – bridges blockaded, trucks burned, peaceful protesters badly injured or killed. We will not stand idly by as more Venezuelans are forced to flee the country they love. Our support for the Venezuelan people and their efforts to restore freedom and democracy is stronger than ever.”
“Maduro is starving his people. Venezuelans have been in the dark for days. And children are dying of preventable diseases,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We are here to make sure the Venezuelan people know that Americans are united in bringing humanitarian aid into Venezuela, standing behind Juan Guaidó, and pressing for fair and free elections for its people.”
Unlike some of their fellow progressive House colleagues Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, Wasserman Schultz and Shalala support the continued economic pressure the Trump Administration has placed on the Maduro regime, the recognition of Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president, and have cast the blame squarely on that regime’s shoulders.