Ros-Lehtinen's legislation calling for end to Venezuela violence passes House
A near-unanimous U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's resolution supporting peaceful protests in Venezuela.
The House voted 393-1 in favor of the legislation, House Resolution 488, which decries repressive tactics by the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Despite the show of unity, "our work is not yet done," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. "The solidarity is warranted, and now it must be backed up by action to help save the lives of the suffering people of Venezuela."
The Republican said she is circulating a letter among members of Congress asking President Obama to impose sanctions against Maduro and his administration, including denying U.S. visas, freezing their U.S. assets and blocking any financial transactions.
Among the original co-sponsors of Ros-Lehtinen's resolution were Republican Mario Diaz-Balart and Democrat Joe Garcia, both of Miami, as well as other members of the Florida delegation from both sides of the political aisle.
Read their statements below.
“The people of Venezuela continue to suffer the oppressive and brutal acts of the Maduro regime. Freedom of speech, a government free of corruption, democracy, and basic human rights – these are all things that people are entitled to, yet Venezuelans find themselves risking their lives in order to obtain them. This resolution reaffirms that the United States Congress stands with the heroic people of Venezuela, and against the tyranny that enchains them.”
“As the crisis in Venezuela continues, it is critical the United States work with the international community to support the Venezuelan people and hold the Venezuelan government accountable for their gross violation of human rights and universal democratic principles.
“I was proud to support H.Res. 488 as an original cosponsor. Its passage today shows the Venezuelan people they are not alone and that the United States House of Representatives stands with them in their fight for freedom and justice.
“I commend my colleague Rep. Ros-Lehtinen for her leadership in introducing this resolution and will continue to urge my colleagues to work together to address the violence and oppression in Venezuela.”