On Thursday, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) , Rick Scott, Jim Risch (R-ID), and other senators penned a letter to President Joe Biden (D) imploring him to “immediately increase U.S. and international pressure to compel the Maduro regime to free all political prisoners and conduct free and fair elections.”
“The March 2022 meeting between senior Biden Administration officials and Nicolás Maduro sidelined Interim President Juan Guaidó and put the United States at the center of Venezuelan political disputes,” wrote the Republican Senators.
“You must change course in Venezuela and increase pressure on the Maduro until all political prisoners are released and conditions are right to conduct free and fair elections,” they added. “We urge you to prioritize American energy production and North American energy infrastructure, persuade our European allies to promptly match U.S. and Canadian sanctions on the Maduro regime, conduct robust freedom-of-navigation and counternarcotic operations targeting the Maduro regime’s transnational criminal activities, and enhance the capacity of democratic countries in the region to confront the humanitarian and security crises his regime is generating.”
Alongside Rubio and Risch signing the letter, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), and Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) signed the letter as well.
Democrats have also expressed their displeasure with the Biden administration’s relaxed approach to the Venezuelan government and the dictator that is Nicolás Maduro.
Working with murderous Dictator Maduro has long been a tragic mistake.
He has shown time & time again he cannot be trusted.
— Rep. Darren Soto (@RepDarrenSoto) May 18, 2022
“Working with murderous Dictator Maduro has long been a tragic mistake. He has shown time & time again he cannot be trusted. I oppose any concession to restart negotiations without support from President Guiado (Guaido) & the opposition party. #VenezuelaLibre!” tweeted Rep. Darren Soto.
According to the State Department in early January, the United States recognizes “the authority of democratically elected 2015 National Assembly as the last remaining democratic institution and Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president…The United States supports the Venezuelan people in their desire for a peaceful restoration of democracy through free and fair elections. The Maduro regime’s pattern of political repression, rampant human rights abuses, as well as severe restrictions on political and civil society actors and freedom of expression have robbed the Venezuelan people of democratic self-determination.”
Now, the Biden administration has changed its tune. The letter the Senators sent to the President and his administration is supposed to address this change.