Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) released a joint statement regarding the Venezuelan government’s decision to suspend the primary election process of the opposition party of the Maduro regime.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Venezuela Democracy Caucus, and Rep. Elvira Salazar serves as Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
They stated that the move from the Maduro regime is a “severe breach of democratic principles.”
"We strongly condemn the decision by Venezuela's regime-controlled court to suspend the democratic opposition's primary election process, which mobilized 2.4 million Venezuelan voters who nominated María Corina Machado as the opposition candidate for the 2024 presidential election,” said the lawmakers. “This assault on democracy is a severe breach of democratic principles and a clear violation of the Maduro regime's recent agreement with the opposition Unitary Platform and the Biden Administration.”
Moreover, Reps. Wasserman Schultz and Elvira Salazar reminded the public of the Maduro regime’s history of unethical and morally outrageous practices against its own people.
"The court's requirement that the independent National Primary Commission turn over documents identifying Venezuelan voters is especially grave, considering the regime's history of retaliating against dissent through arbitrary imprisonment, extrajudicial killings, torture, marginalization, and denial of social services. We are horrified by the prospect that Venezuelan Americans who participated in the primary vote, including many of our constituents, could become targets of the regime,” wrote the congresswomen from Florida.
In their conclusion, the legislators called on President Joe Biden (D) and his administration to “use all available tools” to address the dire situation.
"The Biden Administration should use all available tools to enforce the terms of the October 17 agreement, which promised the reimposition of sanctions in the event of a violation, and ensure that Ms. Machado has the opportunity to run in a free, fair election. Every effort must be undertaken to protect Venezuelan voters, including Venezuelan Americans, from retaliation for exercising their right to vote,” they stated.
Despite occupying seats on different sides of the aisle, the effort to restore the rights of Venezuelans is apparent.