The corrupt, illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro has decimated the people and economy of Venezuela, once the most affluent country in Latin America. But it’s not too late. Venezuela can still turn around and again be free, democratic, and prosperous.
The goal of restoring democracy and prosperity in Venezuela has driven the Trump administration’s policy in Latin America from the beginning.
However, this goal cannot be achieved under the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro, which continues to abuse the Venezuelan people, manipulate well-intentioned diplomatic processes, and maneuver humanitarian aid for its own benefit -- even as it appropriates Venezuela’s resources to maintain its hold on power, said U.S. Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cuba and Venezuela Carrie Filipetti:
“While the Venezuelan people have suffered from a lack of access to basic food and medical care, the Maduro regime has used the money it does have not to support them, but to pay back bad loans to bad people. They’re paying Russia for military support and equipment instead of buying food for the Venezuelan people. They’re sending free oil and gasoline, while the Venezuelan people stand in lines for hours simply with the hope of filling their gas tanks. And of course, they’re prioritizing the delivery of surveillance equipment from China over delivery of much-needed humanitarian supplies.”
These and other egregious abuses by the Maduro regime, including what a recent UN Human Rights Council report called “shockingly high” rates of extrajudicial killings by security forces, have caused 4.4 million Venezuelans, some 15 percent of the country’s population, to flee the country.
That is why the United States and 55 other countries recognize Interim President Juan Guaidó and the Venezuelan National Assembly as the legitimate leaders of Venezuela.
“This is a critical period for the people of Venezuela, and that’s because while we have seen more of the same from the Maduro regime – more desperation, more brutality, more manipulation – we’ve seen powerful new successes for the democratic actors inside Venezuela,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Filipetti.
“The United States will continue to answer Interim President Guaidó’s call to help the people of Venezuela cope with severe food and medicine shortages. We’ll continue our efforts to support the people of Venezuela during their humanitarian crisis.”