U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, released the following statement regarding the 44th Special Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"It's no surprise that human rights are once again under attack at the Organization of American States (OAS) led by the authoritarian governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These repressive leaders are attempting to undermine and weaken the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as a diversion from their abusive policies against their own people and abysmal human rights record.
"Countries in the Western Hemisphere must ask themselves if they will stand with the oppressors of the people or if they will do what is right and stand up for the innocent individuals yearning for liberty. The authoritarian governments in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador continue their all out campaign against independent voices, media outlets, journalists, and civil society in an attempt to consolidate power and silence their opposition.
"I strongly urge all nations in the region to finally speak out against these human rights abusers and say enough is enough. Voting against these ALBA led resolutions at the OAS will be a show of solidarity with those brave individuals who seek freedom and justice. Congress and the international community will be watching to see which countries advance democratic principles in the Hemisphere and which countries support the assault on the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights."