U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the results of the Venezuelan presidential elections. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"The fact that the opposition will not recognize the election results illustrates that the Venezuelan people were not allowed to vote in a free, fair, and transparent election. Nicolas Maduro has continued the authoritarian policies of Hugo Chavez by denying access to credible international election observers, controlling the electoral council and judicial system, and influencing the biased media outlets. With high inflation, food shortages, crime on the rise, and blackouts occurring often, the Venezuelan people deserve better than the failed policies of the past.
"The chips continue to be stacked against the Venezuelan opposition that had to endure a corrupt system plagued by Chavez loyalists who continue to receive assistance from other rogue regimes, such as Iran and Cuba, which do not allow independent elections and violate human rights at every turn. The Castro brothers sent their agents to Venezuela to ensure a victory and are responsible for pulling the strings behind the scenes to deny the Venezuelan people the opportunity to freely choose their next leader.
"As we move forward, the United States must stand up against the Maduro tyranny for the sake of the Venezuelan people and our own national security interests and the Administration must not recognize these election results until a transparent and open review of the votes is conducted. The Obama Administration's efforts to dialogue with the Venezuelan regime will not produce any substantive reforms and instead, the Administration should be on the side of the Venezuelan people who are yearning for democracy and freedom."