Friday, May 30, 2014

Human Rights Violations Intensify In Venezuela [Update: May 29]

Update: May 29, 2014: While the scandal ridden, inept, leftist Obama administration has ignored the human rights violations going on in Venezuela [that are noted in this post-originally from February 2014], thankfully there are some in the congress who are still working behind the scenes who are concerned about the freedom loving people of Venezuela.

From The Shark Tank web site in an article titled "House Passes Sanctions-Filled Bill Against Venezuela’s Maduro Regime, Rubio Pushes It In Senate" by Javier Manjarres we have this: "While President Obama has showed continued foreign policy weakness by staying silent on the violence the Maduro regime has inflicted upon the citizens of Venezuela, the House of Representatives has just passed H.R. 4587, the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act. The Act imposes strict sanctions against Maduro’s amigos in crime, as well as other officials who have blood on their hands from their participation in the violent crackdown of the peaceful anti-government protesters."

Rep Mario Diaz-Balart
"Florida Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released this statement about the passage of the bill. “For the past 15 years, the people of Venezuela have experienced the corruption and brutality of the Chavez-Maduro dictatorship, and within the last 3 months, that has culminated in serious acts of violence and aggression towards students and others." Continuing from the article on Shark Tank congressman Diaz-Balart says: "With the passage of this bill, the United States House of Representatives is standing in solidarity with the Venezuelan people as they struggle to regain democracy and freedom from the Maduro regime. I urge the Senate to move this bill quickly to the President’s desk.”

Sen. Marco Rubio
Now that the bill has passed the House, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has led the way urging the Senate to immediately take up this bill and pass it. From the Shark Tanks article: Senator Marco Rubio: "The House has taken an important step to call attention to the gross human rights violations being committed in Venezuela by Maduro regime officials and sanctioning those responsible. The full Senate should also move on Venezuela sanctions legislation when it returns next week."  "Sanctions on the individuals responsible are long overdue."

Note: As you can see from the Feb. 26 update that you can read just below it must be recognized that Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX has also been a leader on this issue.

The entire article by Javier Manjarres in the Shark Tank can be read by clicking here.

Update  Feb. 26, 2014:  This press release from the Sen Ted Cruz office of a speech Sen Cruz, R-TX, just gave on the US Senate floor about Venezuela unrest.  
Click on the link to go to Senator Cruz web site for the article and video.
To Save Venezuela, Sanction Iran, and Starve the Castros:  
"WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today spoke on the Senate floor praising Venezuelan protestors standing for freedom in spite of persecution. He called to re-impose sanctions against Iran, which is exerting a pernicious influence in the country, denounced Cuba’s ongoing efforts to preserve Venezuela’s status-quo, and outlined action the United States should take to support the fight for freedom in Venezuela. 

“This is the moment to point out that Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro’s abuse of his fellow citizens is intolerable to the United States,” Sen. Cruz said. “If he wants better relations with us, he should start by listening to the demands of his own people. He should lift the cloud of censorship that he is using to isolate Venezuelans from each other and from the rest of the world.  And the United States should do all it can to help the people of Venezuela as they choose a different path, a path of freedom and prosperity, that will return this one-time enemy to its traditional role of our partner and friend. It would benefit them, it would benefit us, and it would benefit the world.”

Additionally, Sen. Cruz called for the immediate and unconditional release of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who is being detained ostensibly for his efforts to organize protests, but as Sen. Cruz pointed out, Lopez’ only crime has been to propose a free-market alternative to the repressive socialist policies that have resulted in the rampant inflation and chronic shortages that are making life in Venezuela insufferable. 

The Senator noted that the long-standing commercial ties between Iran and Venezuela, not to mention their mutual hatred of the United States, would make Venezuela a likely proliferation partner for Iran if that country should achieve nuclear weapons capability now that the United States has relaxed economic sanctions.  The Senator urged that sanctions swiftly be re-imposed, and called for Sen. Harry Reid and the Democrat leadership in the Senate to cease obstructing a vote on Sen. Res. 1881, the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act.

Moreover, Sen. Cruz highlighted communist Cuba’s participation in the brutal crackdown on the protestors. Over the fifteen years of Hugo Chavez’ rule, Venezuela and Cuba engaged in a mutually-parasitic relationship in which Venezuela has exported free oil to Cuba and imported the repressive apparatus of a police state that Raul and Fidel Castro have carefully nurtured over the last fifty years. It is a vicious cycle that must be broken.

Sen. Cruz commended the work of Austin-based Zello that has created an application to successfully bypass Venezuela’s heavy censorship to provide a direct communication service to some 600,000 Venezuelans since the protests began. Recalling the proud tradition of Radio Free Europe during the Cold War, the Senator lauded Zello’s work as an example of how we can use technology to support those fighting for economic and political freedom around the globe. 

In the event that Venezuela embraces free-market and political reforms, the Senator also urged that the U.S. help Venezuela reach its full energy potential by offering a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) that would cover the energy sector.  Such an arrangement would protect American companies eager to invest in Venezuela, and at the same time modernize facilities and increase production of crude – which could be refined at the CITGO facilities at Corpus Christi. This would result in gasoline and other refined petroleum products that can be sold on the open market for the benefit of the Venezuelan people, without propping up the Castro regime in Cuba.

Sen. Cruz concluded his remarks calling on the Obama Administration to halt its failed repeated attempts at diplomatic rapprochement with Maduro’s oppressive regime and instead look for ways to empower the Venezuelan protestors fighting for prosperity and freedom."
original post from February 18, 2014:

Headlines from Monday's [Feb. 17, 2014]  Drudge Report: 

That headline and story came after I had just received an e-mail from a twitter friend @debber66 who wants the word spread about the intensified human rights violations by the government on peaceful protestors that are going on in Venezuela.

The people of  Venezuela need our prayers.   @debber66 allowed me to share her e-mail and video she sent. 

Debbie's e-mail:

"I don't usually do this, but I felt no other option.  As many of you know, I was born in Venezuela and my family on my father's side is from there and lives there today.  I was horrified as I saw what happened in the streets of Venezuela last Wednesday (all over, not just the capital) as students lead a peaceful march to raise awareness of the human rights violations going on there.  Three students were murdered by the government and about 120 of them were arrested.  The leftist Marxist government has made it a crime for the opposition to speak out against the government.  They will squelch the opposition even if it means killing them.  This has escalated to new heights.  Before it was just shutting down media (still happening) but now it's shutting down any form of speech.  Venezuela had a constitution and freedom of speech was part of it. Please watch this video and pray for the Venezuelans.  My family is okay, though the food shortages make it tough to live in the comfort they once knew. One of my aunts has been trying to leave but can't find any flights out of Venezuela.

I am begging anyone who may have a connection with DC and foreign policy committees to please take a look at what is happening to my birth country.   An airplane full of Militia just arrived from Cuba at an airport in Venezuela.  This can't be good!

God Bless You!   Debbie"

The U-Tube video came from Andreina Nash:  "What's Going On In Venezuela In A Nutshell.":

Please follow a great patriot @debber66 on twitter.

Note: For those people who live in the Houston area, there will be a candlelight vigil for the people of Venezuela held in the Sugar Land Town Square at 7:30 pm on Friday night Feb. 21. 

Update:  Fox News Channel reported more violence against the citizens yesterday with 6 more being killed yesterday [Thursday].  Also, on Fox News Channel, former Ambassador John Bolton said he believes that there is a good possibility the  government could fall.  Let us pray he is right. 

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