WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the successful reelection of Juan Guaidó as the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly. The successful vote to reelect Guaidó came hours after the Maduro regime tried imposing a new leader by forcefully blocking the Interim President’s entrance into the National Assembly.
“Yesterday, democratic members of Venezuela’s National Assembly overwhelmingly voted to extend Juan Guaidó’s mandate as president of the legislature and as Interim President of Venezuela. The international community remains firm in its support for Interim President Guaidó, as shown by the outpouring of statements by democratic leaders across the hemisphere and Europe and by bipartisan members in the U.S. Congress. The world can clearly see the Maduro regime’s attempt to install a puppet leader in National Assembly was yet another illegitimate and unsuccessful assault on Venezuela’s last remaining democratic institution.”
“In responding to Maduro’s latest desperate power grab, we must send a clear message to the world and to the Venezuelan people that the United States will not have a change of heart in our commitment to a free and democratic Venezuela. The Trump Administration needs to redouble efforts to coordinate a truly international and strategic pressure campaign with our partners in Europe and the region. With an increasingly dictatorial regime, now is the time to align international sanctions with current U.S. efforts to help secure a peaceful return to democracy, and ensure free and fair legislative and presidential elections in Venezuela in 2020.”