U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist and Debbie Wasserman Schultz met with members of the Interim Government of Venezuela Wednesday to discuss how the U.S. could “peacefully end (the) Maduro regime and restore freedom and democracy.”
The Congress members, as a part of the Congressional Venezuela Democracy Caucus, were briefed by exiled Venezuelan leader Leopoldo López and Ambassador Carlos Vecchio on the current political and humanitarian situation in the South American country.
“The Venezuelan people are in the midst of a horrific humanitarian crisis at the hands of the Maduro regime,” Crist said in a statement. “Limited access to basic goods, violence, repression, and rampant corruption are but some of the bitter fruits of the usurper’s illegitimate rule.”
Venezuela is currently under rule by Nicolás Maduro, and, like the Trump administration, the Biden White House has harshly denounced Maduro as a socialist dictator. At the start of June, the Biden administration gave Chevron Corp. and several other American companies six more months to continue operating in Venezuela as the U.S. seeks to starve Maduro’s socialist government of badly needed oil revenue, according to the Associated Press.
Honored to meet w/ Amb @carlosvecchio & exiled VZ leader @leopoldolopez to learn firsthand what's happening in #Venezuela & discuss how US can help peacefully end Maduro regime & restore freedom & democracy. 🇻🇪 My statement: https://t.co/IZrHTfByxW pic.twitter.com/3K6yiAyiOu
— Congressman Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) June 23, 2021
“Maduro does not care about the Venezuelan people, even going so far as to seize international aid before it can get to the people who desperately need the food and medicine,” Crist said in a statement. “As a proud member of the Congressional Venezuela Democracy Caucus, I was honored to hear directly from exiled opposition leader Leopoldo López and Ambassador Vecchio about what the dictatorship means for everyday Venezuelans and the importance of the United States to lead.”
Crist, who is running for Governor in 2022, also expressed support for providing Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans in the U.S. in addition to diplomatic efforts for democracy and freedom in Venezuela. Venezuelans currently have temporary protected status through September 2022.