WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced he will be introducing the Venezuela Emergency Relief, Democracy Assistance, and Development (VERDAD) Expansion Act after the August recess. The comprehensive legislation – which is an extensive legislative update to the VERDAD Act of 2019 – aims to ensure progress in negotiations to restore democracy in Venezuela, address the country’s complex humanitarian crisis, and advance accountability for the Maduro regime’s gross violations of human rights and criminal activities.
“As Venezuela’s citizens and democratic leaders pursue a future defined by freedom, dignity, and justice, Maduro is taking further steps to consolidate his criminal dictatorship. Rather than facilitating conditions for democratic elections, the Maduro regime has dissolved Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, barred leading opposition candidate Maria Corina Machado from running for office, and blocked international election observers from entering the country,” said Chairman Menendez. “While the United States supports a peaceful diplomatic solution to Venezuela’s crisis, our support for negotiations is neither an open-ended invitation nor a blank check. The VERDAD Expansion Act will both provide a lifeline of hope for Venezuelans and serve as a warning to tyrannical regimes across the globe that the United States will not allow their oppressive actions to go unchecked.”