Chairman Menendez Statement on the Expulsion by Venezuela of U.S. Diplomats, Passage of Venezuela Resolution in Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued this statement regarding President Maduro’s expulsion of three U.S. diplomats from Venezuela, and the passage of a resolution in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting Venezuelan democracy and condemning violence and intimidation against the country’s political opposition.
“President Maduro’s decision to expel three U.S. diplomats from our Embassy in Caracas is a clear attempt to distract public attention from the political, social, and economic crises consuming Venezuela. The dramatic economic downturn fueled by unsustainable policies and the erosion of political space in Venezuela are deeply concerning,” said Menendez. “It is also a clear sign that the Maduro administration prioritizes manufactured public distractions that were the cornerstone of the Chavez regime over serious dialogue with the United States.”
In response to the ongoing deterioration of the rule of law and political order in Venezuela, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday approved a resolution supporting the democratic aspirations of all Venezuelans during this period of turmoil.
“This resolution calls for a process of dialogue in Venezuela through which the Maduro administration must recognize the country’s legitimate political opposition and begin to address the concerns of its own population,” added Menendez. “I look forward to the resolution’s timely passage in the U.S. Senate.”
The resolution was introduced by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, and Sens. Rubio (R-FL), Nelson (D-FL), Kaine (D-VA), Udall (D-NM), McCain (R-AZ) and Kirk (R-IL).