Ros-Lehtinen Presses Administration to Add Names of Russian Officials Guilty of Human Rights Violations to Magnitsky List, Urges President to Take More Action Against Maduro and his Cronies in Venezuela

Mar 6, 2014 Issues: Foreign Affairs

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement during a full committee hearing on U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine:

 “The Magnitsky list, that’s what I want to ask about. Denying and revoking visas of Russian regime members who are connected to belligerent actions in Ukraine, and freezing and prohibiting any of their U.S. property and transaction are moves in the right direction. But now we must name and shame these persons, add them and other Putin officials responsible for human rights abuses, not just in Ukraine, but in Russia as well, to the Magnitsky list, which imposes similar sanctions.

Adding these names to the Magnistky list would make these actions permanent, rather than an Executive Order which the president can rescind. I’ve already submitted many names to the Obama Administration to the add to that list since we passed the Magnitsky Act , and there are many names here – names, positions, examples of gross human rights violations. I will send a new letter to the Administration asking for more names of human rights violators to be added to the Magnitsky list, and I hope that my colleagues will join me in that letter.

And the president must take similar actions in Venezuela, where Maduro continues his suppression of the people who seek freedom and democracy. In the Executive Order of the president it says that the president he talks about actions and policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine – well, Maduro and his officials are also responsible for actions and policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Venezuela. Now is the time to act. 16 of my colleagues sent a letter to the president asking for similar powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

So my question, Mr. Rubin is – is the Administration considering adding more names of Russian officials guilty of human rights violations to the Magnitsky list? Or is it simply a historical document for academics to ponder? Are we going to stay with those few names that have been put on the list, and not added any since then?”