Wasserman Schultz on Venezuelan Hostage Release, Sanctions and Oil Reserves

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Washington, March 9, 2022 | comments
Critically, neither this hostage release, nor Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, warrant allowing the murderous Maduro regime to quickly stockpile petrol profits as Venezuelans still starve for food, medicine and basic human rights under his autocratic rule. Sanctions relief should only be considered when there is a clear and irreversible commitment to restore free and fair presidential elections and cease attacks on the rule of law.
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Washington DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement after the recent negotiations surrounding the release of American hostages Gustavo Cardenas and Jorge Fernandez from Venezuela, and on the prospect of lifting oil or other sanctions on the Maduro regime:

“The Biden Administration’s effort to globally isolate Putin has been swift, remarkable and may save thousands of lives. However, rewarding the Maduro regime in Venezuela by swapping out the oil imports of one murderous kleptocrat for another in our own Hemisphere would be wrong and shortsighted. America’s moral standing, and the lives of countless murdered, displaced, and suffering Venezuelans, should not be sacrificed to access a trifling supply of oil that could aid a dangerous regional tyrant.

The recent negotiated release of American hostages ends a torturous chapter for these prisoners and their families at the hands of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro. I am confident the Administration will continue fighting to bring home the seven Americans still being held unjustly in Venezuela.

While this is welcome news on the hostages, the underlying reality in Venezuela is that its citizens live in extreme poverty and are denied basic human rights due to a corrupt and repressive dictatorship. Critically, neither this hostage release, nor Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, warrant allowing the murderous Maduro regime to quickly stockpile petrol profits as Venezuelans still starve for food, medicine and basic human rights under his autocratic rule. Sanctions relief should only be considered when there is a clear and irreversible commitment to restore free and fair presidential elections and cease attacks on the rule of law.”
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