Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Engel Condemn Maduro’s Attempt to Use International Humanitarian Assistance to Coerce Opposition

Jan 12, 2018

 Reps. Ros-Lehtinen and Engel Condemn Maduro’s Attempt to Use International Humanitarian Assistance to Coerce Opposition

WASHINGTON— U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, made the following statement today regarding reports that the Maduro government is trying to force the opposition to recognize the legitimacy of his controversial National Constituent Assembly in exchange for allowing much needed food and humanitarian aid into the country. Statement by the Reps.:

“If reports are true, it is appalling that Mr. Maduro is attempting to use international humanitarian assistance as a means to coerce the opposition to bestow legitimacy upon his fraudulent National Constitutent Assembly. Maduro’s policies have created the dire humanitarian situation in Venezuela and have caused a severe shortage of food and medicine.

The situation on the ground is untenable, and we call for the United Nations and the Red Cross to be allowed to bring in missions to observe the humanitarian situation. We also believe that USAID should be permitted to send a team to form its own assessment.”

NOTE: On December 7, 2017, the House passed H.R. 2658 - The Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act of 2017 – authored by Engel and Ros-Lehtinen. The bill mandates a strategy from USAID to provide humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people. The bill also aims to combat widespread corruption among government officials in Venezuela.