As the COVID-19 virus continues its deadly grip around the world and has seemingly become the single focus in the U.S., members of Congress have not taken their eye off of other pressing issues, including the human rights crisis in Venezuela.
The Trump administration’s indictment of Venezuela’s Dictator Nicholas Maduro and a number of his henchmen for drug trafficking was welcomed by many legislators like Florida Senator Rick Scott (R), who has spearheaded efforts to admonish Maduro as a murderous thug and to press the federal government to levy more sanctions on Maduro’s regime.
One of those indicted was Venezuelan general Cliver Alcala, who upon his arrest in Colombia this past weekend, has agreed to help prosecutors build the drug trafficking case against Maduro
In response to The Floridian’s request for comment on the recent developments in Venezuela, Sen. Scott’s office responded that the freshman senator was “encouraged by the Trump administration’s sanctions against Maduro’s regime and to hold him “accountable for his crimes and the genocide he is committing on the people of Venezuela.”
“He (Sen. Scott) is glad the Department of Justice took the historic step to indict Maduro yesterday,” stated Scott’s office “The quickest way to end his brutal regime is to cut off the supply of money, including from China and Russia. The United States and all freedom-loving nations around the world must continue to do everything in our power to isolate Maduro in Venezuela.”
Both Scott and fellow Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) have pointed to Maduro’s complicity in drug trafficking alongside the terrorist groups FARC and ELN, and with narco-traffickers, who are reported to have control of part of Venezuela.
Considering that Venezuela’s oil industry has been compromised by the Chavista control of that nation, continuing his criminal money-making enterprise appears to be the only option Maduro has to keep his allies in the military and security forces loyal to him.
With the noose appearing to tighten around Maduro’s neck, the Trump administration could see the new developments in Venezuela as an opportunity to levy even more crippling sanctions against the regime, even as the U.N. has called for the U.S. to suspend or end sanctions against the terrorist state of Iran and Venezuela.
But while the U.N. is demanding that Trump ease up on Maduro, support for the U.S. to continue pressing sanctions against Maduro enjoys a lot of support.
Gustavo Rojas, a Venezuelan analyst & Associate professor at the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University, believes that the sanctions are working, and believes that Venezuela’s allies should be allowed to continue doing business in the country.
“While measures such as individual and secondary sanctions have been extremely effective, suspending the license of U.S. companies who continue to operate in Venezuela will not have any additional impact on Maduro,’ stated Rojas “Instead, generating greater pressure on the smuggling of blood gold, for example, would be very effective since this is one of the main revenues of the narco-tyranny.
It is important that the few Venezuelan companies and foreign allies that remain in Venezuela be ready to face not only the humanitarian crisis that plagues the country but this new pandemic that aggravates the Venezuelan tragedy even more.”