Marco Rubio Applauds Sanctions Against Venezuela’s Thugs

Gary Cameron / Reuters
Gary Cameron / Reuters

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is looking more and more like a true commander-in-chief, and not some fly-by-night, audacity of hope president who has done nothing but diminish the U.S. standing around the world.

It only took President Obama a year to finally act and announce that his administration would be implementing the long-anticipated financial sanctions against “human rights violators in Venezuela.”

It’s hard to believe that a year has already gone by since Rubio first called for sanctions to be levied on the corrupt and repressive Venezuelan government of bird-whispering strongman Nicolas Maduro.

Just three months ago, Obama signed Rubio’s co-authored Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014.

Rubio released the following statement welcoming the sanctions, asking the President to extend sanctions, and questioning his move to “normalize” relations with Venezuela’s criminal, human rights-violating, and murderous puppet master, communist Cuba:

The human rights crisis in Venezuela is getting worse every day, and these long overdue financial sanctions are important steps to hold Nicolas Maduro’s regime accountable.

The U.S. government should expand the sanctions against more Venezuelan human rights abusers, including General Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the commandant of the Venezuelan Armed Forces and minister of defense. Among his offenses, General Padrino signed the recent order authorizing lethal force against peaceful demonstrators, an order which left a 14 year old boy dead. This general should be on this list, but the administration inexplicably left him off.

Even as I welcome this round of sanctions, I question why President Obama is simultaneously moving to lift sanctions on Cuba, which has played a direct role in sowing unrest in Venezuela and has a human rights record even worse than the Maduro regime. Human rights violations in Venezuela stem directly from what the Cuban army and intelligence agency have taught the Chavez-Maduro regime.

The authoritarian system that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have imposed in Venezuela have destroyed its economy and any semblance of democratic order in the country. Maduro has ruined lives through both the misery his system has inflicted, but also the lives his regime has cut short in response to demonstrations over the past year. As long as Maduro and his thugs remain in power, economic conditions and human rights will continue to worsen in Venezuela.


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