Wasserman Schultz’s Russia-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act Passes House

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Washington, March 25, 2019 | comments
The Russia-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and passed today by the House of Representatives, would require the U.S. State Department to provide a threat assessment and strategic approach for dealing with Russia’s growing military sway in Venezuela.
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(Washington, D.C.) –The Russia-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act, a bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and passed today by the House of Representatives, would require the U.S. State Department to provide a threat assessment and strategic approach for dealing with Russia’s growing military sway in Venezuela.

“This menacing Kremlin influence creates not only a hurdle to restoring a functioning, legitimate democracy to the people of Venezuela, but it also poses an imminent military threat to the entire Western Hemisphere. We not only need a detailed assessment of what kind of threat this poses, but a strategy for dealing with it,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Our goal, regardless of party, is to allow for the peaceful transition to Venezuela’s rightful leader, interim President Juan Guaidó, and for the peaceful execution of free and fair elections. This bill takes a critical step toward understanding and addressing the impact of military cooperation between Russia and Venezuela, and ensuring it does not impede democracy or safety in the region.”

Wasserman Schultz’s bill would also require the President to monitor the risk of Russian acquisition of the Venezuela’s CITGO assets in the United States , as well as impose a visa ban for any individuals working on behalf of the Russian government in direct support of Venezuelan security forces.

“As his people suffer and protest all around him, Maduro survives inside an oil-soaked cocoon that the Russian Federation provides his regime,” Wasserman Schultz said.

This bi-partisan legislation was co-sponsored by Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart, (FL-25), Donna Shalala (FL-27), and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26). The growing military relationship between Nicolas Maduro and Vladimir Putin poses a threat to the restoration of legitimate democracy in Venezuela. This weekend news outlets reported that additional Russian military officials arrived in Venezuela. In December, the Russian Federation sent two TU-160 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela for joint exercises, and took part in a join 10-hour exercise across the Caribbean with the bombers.

“Right now, the people of Venezuela are enduring an unimaginable onslaught of hunger, preventable medical dangers and dire, escalating economic pain,” Wasserman Schultz said. “We cannot stand idly by while Putin assists Maduro in carrying out this inhumane and barbaric tragedy. The Russia-Venezuelan Threat Mitigation Act will make it harder for the Kremlin to outfit Maduro with weapons of oppression.”

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