As the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela heightens to new levels, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R) and Bob Menendez (D) have coauthored a resolution that expresses “alarm over the growing humanitarian needs of women and children inside Venezuela and those seeking international protection in neighboring countries.” The Resolution commends the Government of Colombia “for joining the United States in granting Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans” and “urges other refugee-hosting countries to consider similar protections.”
According to a joint press release, more than 5,400,000 Venezuelans have fled Venezuela as a result of the nefarious conditions that Dictator Nicolas Maduro and his economic policies have created.
Sen. Rubio, who has offered sharp criticism of Venezuelan strongman Maduro, places full blame for the crisis on Maduro’s “narco-regime.”
“The human cost of the Maduro narco-regime’s humanitarian debacle has resulted in the displacement of 6 million Venezuelans worldwide,” Sen.Rubio said. “Responsible nations in our region continue to lend a helping hand as Venezuelan migrants and refugees flee the hardships of tyranny and oppression. I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues in introducing this resolution, which calls for supporting efforts that protect women and girls who are fleeing this manmade crisis.”
“The United States and our partners must be vigilant in ensuring that health care – including mental health resources – shelter, food assistance, and other basic services are available and accessible to Venezuelan families. I am proud to introduce this resolution that lauds our neighbors’ generosity in hosting displaced Venezuelans and serves as a clarion call to strengthen protections for Venezuelan women and children in the face of vast challenges,¨said Senator Menendez.
The Senate measure drew praised from Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.S., Carlos Vecchio, who said the resolution solidifies and promotes “humanitarian assistance programs with Venezuela” through NGOs, “as well as promotes and strengthens protection programs such as the Colombian TPS for Venezuela migrants in the region.”
Joining Rubio and Menendez were Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Dick Durbin (D-IL)
In a parallel move, and as part of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the U.S. government pledged $336 million in new U.S. government humanitarian, economic, development, and health assistance for the response to the Venezuela regional crisis, including inside Venezuela. This brings total U.S. Government contribution towards this crisis response to more $1.9 billion since 2017, including more than $1.65 billion in life-saving humanitarian assistance. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs, stated: “This new funding will provide the Venezuelan people with a wide range of life-saving assistance. The United States will continue to work with host governments in the region to ensure protection mechanisms are in place, including access to asylum and legal status.”
Organizations providing on-the-ground humanitarian assistance in Venezuela welcomed the move and reiterate the sense of urgency to address the humanitarian urgently and separately from the current political negotiation.
For his part, strongman Maduro, during his UNGA speech this Wednesday, continued to blast the U.S., alleging his country was the victim of a “fierce campaign” of permanent and systematic aggression through economic and financial sanctions coming from the United States and its allies.
Senator Menendez emphatically singled out Maduro’s unequivocal role in sending Venezuela’s economy into turmoil, stating: “The Maduro regime’s unbridled criminality and despotism have given rise to the most severe refugee and migration crisis in our hemisphere’s modern history. As the regime continues to neglect the health, safety, and potential of its women and children, it continues generating instability throughout the region.”