U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, released the following statement on the Venezuelan elections and the increasing violence in an attempt to silence the Venezuelan people. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"At a Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing today, I urged Secretary Kerry not to recognize the election results in Venezuela until a full recount and audit is conducted to verify the results. I am also concerned about the ongoing violence in Venezuela which has already caused nearly a dozen lives and even more injured in an attempt to silence the opposition forces who are demanding a recount.
"I condemn the actions by the Chavista loyalists who want to incite violence and disguise themselves within the masses in order to ignite aggressive actions seeking to undermine the opposition's peaceful calling for demonstrations. Let me be clear: the people provoking the violence in Venezuela are the Maduro regime and his cronies who are targeting innocent civilians. The Venezuelan people have the right to conduct peaceful demonstrations throughout the country to express their desire for a recount of their elections results.
"The U.S. should not recognize the accreditation of the election results by the CNE nor the swearing in ceremony of Nicolas Maduro. I urge the Secretary General and our U.S. representative at the Organization of American States to call for an emergency meeting of the council to properly address this issue immediately. The U.S. and responsible nations should be on the side of the people of Venezuela and give them an opportunity to illustrate evidence of the irregularities conducted in the election."