Chairman Menendez Statement on Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued this statement regarding anti-government protests in Venezuela.
"This week, we have seen Venezuelans peacefully gathering to voice their deep concern with President Maduro and his mismanagement of the economy. These demonstrations are being met with government-sanctioned violence that has resulted in the deaths of innocent people and the unjust imprisonment of dozens of peaceful protesters. Venezuela is a nation rich in natural resources that deserves a hopeful and prosperous future, but instead the country continues to stumble backward as individual freedoms erode, the economy slides from bad to worse, and the government deepens its ties to and models its control of society after the Cuban regime.
Venezuelans are giving voice to their frustrations, likening President Maduro to a puppet of the Cuban government and chanting their opposition to the rise of authoritarianism in their nation. These expressions reflect an honest truth and deeply-held concern. We in the United States are listening carefully and will not ignore the plight of ordinary Venezuelans suffering from government oppression.
Those individuals who have caused unnecessary bloodshed must be held accountable, cease their violent activity, allow Venezuelans to peacefully gather and let the world know the worsening realities taking place in President Maduro's Venezuela."
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