Florida Lawmakers on Edge Following Maduro's Targeting of Journalists Abroad

Florida Lawmakers on Edge Following Maduro's Targeting of Journalists Abroad

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
April 4, 2024

US lawmakers have denounced Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro allegedly ordering for the extrajudicial detainment of Venezuelan journalists living abroad. 

Dictator Maduro’s regime carries a ghastly repertoire of unlawful detainments, extrajudicial killings, tortures, and kidnapping of regime dissidents and political opponents.

Most recently, Colombian-Venezuelan journalist Orlando Avendaño, a public critic of Maduro’s regime, suffered a government raid on his family home in Venezuela. 

Avendaño, who is self-exiled in Colombia, was accused by Venezuelan Attorney General Tarek William Saab of instigating hatred and conspiring against the Venezuelan government. 

Attorney General Saab reportedly ordered for Avendaño to be apprehended, adding that they “were closely tracking his location.”

Florida lawmakers quickly reacted to the news of Maduro’s threats against Avendaño. 

US Representative Maria Elvira-Salazar (R-FL) warned the US will “hold the regime responsible” for anything that happens to Avendaño and his family. 

Similarly, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) implored Colombian authorities to closely monitor any actions taken by the Venezuelan government to capture Avendaño. 

“The narco-regime has found its new objective by persecuting the journalist @OrlvndoA , who lives in exile. Colombian authorities should monitor this incident and prevent others,” said Senator Rubio via X.

Avendaño claims he is being persecuted for expressing his freedom of speech and for his support of Maria Corina Machado, Maduro’s largest political opponent. 

Maduro barred Machado from the upcoming presidential elections after she overwhelmingly won the Venezuelan opposition party’s primary elections.

The deadline for registering candidates to Venezuela’s presidential elections was last Tuesday, and Venezuelan opposition party Democratic Unitary Platform (DUP) were unable to register Machado. 

The failure to register Machado arrived after months of failed negotiations between President Joe Biden’s administration, Venezuelan regime leader Nicolas Maduro, and DUP officials. 

President Biden had spearheaded an effort to convince Maduro’s regime to permit for democratic elections to occur in Venezuela.

The deal included sanctions relief in exchange for assurances of a free and fair electoral process.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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