Rubio: Bizarre And Confusing For Obama Administration To Meet With Venezuela’s Most Corrupt Official

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US SenateWashington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues, issued the following statement regarding this past weekend’s meeting between the Obama Administration and Diosdado Cabello, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly who is under U.S. investigation for drug trafficking:
 
“‎By meeting with the Venezuelan regime’s most corrupt official, who also happens to be under investigation as a drug kingpin, the Obama Administration‎ is sending a bizarre and confusing message to the Venezuelan people as well as U.S. prosecutors investigating him. Instead of legitimizing Diosdado Cabello, the Obama Administration should implement sanctions against him for his key role in human rights violations, as it continues its drug trafficking investigation.
 
“These mixed messages from the Obama Administration are especially appalling at a time when Leopoldo Lopez and other brave Venezuelan political prisoners are waging a hunger strike against the regime of Nicolas Maduro ‎for its ongoing violations of human rights.”

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.