Ros-Lehtinen Speaks on the House Floor in Support of Leopoldo Lopez and Introduces Bipartisan Legislation
Supporting the Efforts of the People of Venezuela Calling for Democracy and Respect for Human Rights
“With at least over a dozen dead and more than 100 injured in countrywide protests against the Maduro regime, the United States has a moral obligation to take a clear stand in support of the Venezuelan people”
February 25, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement as she spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives regarding the unjust detainment of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and introduced H. Res. 488, expressing solidarity with the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
H. Res. 488, Supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calling to end the violence is important legislation that:
- · Supports the people of Venezuela in their pursuit of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly to promote democratic principles in Venezuela;
- · Deplores the inexcusable violence perpetrated against opposition leaders and protesters in Venezuela, and the growing efforts to use politically-motivated criminal charges to intimidate the country’s political opposition;
- · Urges responsible nations throughout the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Venezuela and to actively encourage a process of dialogue between the Government of Venezuela and the political opposition to end the violence; and
- · Urges the Organization of American States to immediately convene the Permanent Council to seek the most effective way to expeditiously end the violence in Venezuela in accordance with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
Ros-Lehtinen said on the introduction of the legislation:
“With at least over a dozen dead and more than 100 injured in countrywide protests against the Maduro regime, the United States has a moral obligation to take a clear stand in support of the Venezuelan people. My resolution expressing solidarity with the people of Venezuela will send a clear message to Maduro and his thugs: we are watching how they treat their citizens, and their abusive actions will not go without consequences. I urge the Administration to keep the pressure on the leaders of Venezuela to end the violence and respect their citizens’ dignity, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to support me in this fight.”
Full text of Ros-Lehtinen’s remarks on the House floor on the unjust arrest of Leopoldo Lopez:
“It is right and fitting for the U.S. House of Representatives to pay attention to the case of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who has been unjustly imprisoned by the puppet regime of Nicolas Maduro.
“Leopoldo is a grassroots leader and founder of the political party Voluntad Popular. He has been wrongfully accused of criminal incitement, conspiracy, arson and intent to damage property. Leopoldo is being held in a military prison and his proceedings have been kept secret from the public. We cannot stand idly by while democracy and due process are trampled on in our own hemisphere.
“Being silent is not an option. Venezuelan students have been peacefully demonstrating against a regime that has no qualms with repressing protests with live ammunition and shock groups whose tactics are extremely violent.Those of us who advocate for freedom have a moral responsibility to support the students in Caracas, Merida, San Cristobal, Valencia and throughout Venezuela, who through peaceful means seek the way to create a more perfect union, with democracy and freedom as their guide.”