U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the passage of her resolution, H.Res. 488, which expresses the United States' support for the people of Venezuela as they call for freedom and democracy and an end to the Maduro regime's oppressive tactics. The measure was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives with a vote of 393-1. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Nicolas Maduro and his henchman have been brutally repressing those who seek freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in Venezuela for weeks now without being held accountable for their actions. I'm pleased to see that the House overwhelmingly passed my resolution tonight, and that we are unified in support of these peaceful protesters. Our work is not yet done. The solidarity is warranted, and now it must be backed up by action to help save the lives of the suffering people of Venezuela.
"I'm circulating among my colleagues a letter addressed to President Obama urging him to take immediate punitive measures against Maduro and Venezuelan officials responsible for these gross violations of human rights being committed against these protesters. This letter asks the President to impose sanctions under authorities granted to him under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), including denying these abusers visas to enter the United States, blocking their property and freezing their assets in the U.S., and prohibiting them from making any financial transactions within our borders. The time is right for the Administration to act, and it must act now."