This week's New York Times story on Venezuela's appalling murders and crimes comes as no surprise to those of us with close friends in South Florida's Venezuelan American community. The fact is that Hugo Chavez's populist regime and failed economic policies have wrecked what was once one of Latin America's few democracies. As the article notes, while other economies in Latin America have grown, Venezuela's has shrunk and there have been nearly 120,000 murders in Venezuela since the start of Chavez's rule. This is unacceptable and the Venezuelan people who want change need to know they have an ally in America. I urge our leaders in Congress to stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people as they cast their ballots next month and attempt to restore freedom, human rights and democracy to their country.