South Florida Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen issued the following statement today after the sham trial of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez began yesterday:
"We remain extremely concerned about human rights violations in Venezuela and stand in support of Leopoldo Lopez and the more than 100 political prisoners of conscience who are wrongly being detained by the Maduro regime. Yesterday's sham trial is indicative of the corrupt judicial system in Venezuela that is being used to silence freedom loving individuals who seek justice. It is clear that Leopoldo and hundreds of others are being held in prison on trumped up and politically motivated charges and they must be released immediately. Their only 'crime' is bravely standing up to an authoritarian regime and demanding freedom and democratic change.
"While the Maduro regime continues to take steps to silence the opposition we will continue to be a voice for those who are trying to stand up for a just and free Venezuela. Lastly, the Maduro regime must be held accountable for its actions, and we continue our call for targeted sanctions against those individuals perpetrating crimes against Venezuelan citizens."