Chairman Menendez Statement on Continuing Unrest in Venezuela, Detention of Opposition Leaders
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Bogota, Colombia – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement regarding the deteriorating situation in Venezuela:
“Venezuela cannot be governed through fear, violence and political retribution as President Maduro, members of his security forces, and government supporters are exhibiting on a daily basis. Venezuelans must be allowed to peacefully assemble, freely express their views, and voice displeasure with a government that is running the country into the ground. I call on the international community to join me in condemning the unjust imprisonment of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and the ongoing political persecution of Maria Corina Machado, Carlos Vecchio and other members of the country's political opposition. The government must also immediately release the dozens of peaceful protesters and students that it has jailed on trumped up charges in recent days."
"The brutal and oppressive tactics President Maduro is subjecting his fellow countrymen to will only further diminish his legitimacy as president and the United States will not look the other way while the democratic aspirations of Venezuelans are viciously trampled."