Voz media US Voz.us

Venezuela: Senator Marco Rubio and other colleagues condemn Maduro for the persecution of opposition leaders and members of María Corina Machado's team

Eleven Republican and Democratic senators attacked the Venezuelan dictatorship after ordering the arrest of 14 political leaders.

María Corina Machado, Marco Rubio, Venezuela, Maduro, opositores

(Cordon Press)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a bipartisan statement in which, along with other Senate colleagues, he condemned the Chavista regime of Nicolás Maduro for ordering the arrest of several political leaders and team members close to María Corina Machado, presidential candidate and main leader of the Venezuelan opposition.

“We are extremely concerned over recent arrest warrants issued by the Maduro regime against members of María Corina Machado’s political party and coalition,” reads the statement signed by a total of 11 senators. “This brazen act is a clear violation of the spirit of the Barbados Agreement and another indication that the Maduro regime is not following through on its commitment to free and fair elections in 2024.

In addition to Rubio, the statement was signed by Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Alex Padilla (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Laphonza Butler (D-CA).

“Additionally, the blatant refusal to release political prisoners or American hostages, the continued arrest warrants against other key opposition leaders, and the petulant saber-rattling against Guyana show that the Maduro regime, far from taking steps towards the meaningful return of democracy, is moving towards an even more brutal dictatorship,” the senators continued. “The U.S. and our democratic partners should respond accordingly using all diplomatic tools, including imposing select sanctions.”

In the statement, the senators recalled that Roberto Abdul, one of the figures who planned the primary elections of the Venezuelan opposition, was arbitrarily detained last night by the SEBIN, the regime’s intelligence service accused of committing crimes against humanity by dozens of international organizations.

On Wednesday, the regime’s attorney general, Tarek William Saab, disrespecting due process, accused several Venezuelan politicians of “betraying” Venezuela after allegedly allying with the American oil company ExxonMobil to sabotage the referendum on Essequibo organized by the Chavista regime.

The regime’s prosecutor targeted the following opposition leaders who remain in Venezuela: Henry Alviarez, Claudia Macero and Pedro Urruchurtu, all from Machado’s political party, Vente Venezuela (VV), and Abdul himself, president of the Súmate organization.

The Chavista regime also charged the following exiled leaders: Yon Goicoechea, Juan Guaidó, Julio Borges, David Smolansky, Carlos Vecchio, Lester Toledo and Leopoldo López; all long-time politicians, a couple of Chavista leaders and two U.S. citizens, one of whom remains under arrest since mid-November.