WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, asked Secretary of State John Kerry to reduce oil imports from Venezuela and to direct the Permanent U.S. Representative at the Organization of American State (OAS) to call for a special session to discuss the ongoing Venezuelan crisis.
With the ongoing conflict in Venezuela and countless human rights violations occurring, I have asked the Obama administration to reduce its oil imports from Venezuela to send a signal of support to those being oppressed by the Maduro regime," said Ros-Lehtinen.
"I also urge responsible nations throughout the Western Hemisphere to hear the calls for democracy coming from the streets of Venezuela and abide by the principles instilled in the Inter-American Democratic Charter by convening a special session at the OAS to discuss the escalating conflict."
I commend the students and their supporters for courageously speaking out against the Maduro regime that seeks to undermine democracy and violate human rights, said Ros-Lehtinen, who along with Representative Albio Sires (D-NJ) introduced bipartisan legislation, House Resolution 1687 - Countering ALBA Act of 2013, urging the President to sanction persons of ALBA nations, who the President determines are responsible for serious human rights abuses against citizens of ALBA countries.
The bill also directs the Secretary of State to transmit a comprehensive strategy to ensure that ALBA nations are democratic governments committed to making constitutional changes that would ensure regular free and fair elections and the full enjoyment of basic civil liberties and human rights by the citizens of ALBA countries; and have made demonstrable progress in establishing independent judiciaries and electoral councils.
I am deeply concerned about the crackdown against demonstrators in Venezuela and am particularly shocked by the arrest of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez," said Representative Eliot L. Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"I join the Inter-American Commission on Human rights in calling upon the Venezuelan government to protect the human and civil rights of its people. I also call upon all OAS member states to demand that Caracas end its assault on democracy and comply strictly with the Inter American Charter on Human Rights, concluded Engel.
Ros-Lehtinen Letter to Secretary Kerry Regarding Venezuelan Crisis