Freshman Democrat Rep. Donna Shalala is championing the passage of her Venezuela Arms Restriction Act, which is a bipartisan bill that she introduced.
The legislation prohibits the export of defense articles and crime control materials from the U.S. to the security forces of Venezuela. These are tools that have been used by Nicolas Maduro’s communist regime to attack the Venezuelan people, which has often led to lethal consequences.
The bill was passed alongside two other bills that also deal with Venezuelan concerns, which includes a bill introduced by Democratic Reps Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Debbie Wasserhman Schultz to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela. Shalala was also a cosponsor of the bill that would provide $150 million in humanitarian aid directly to the Venezuelan people and conduct a threat assessment of Russian influence in Venezuela and the impact that it has on not only the United States but on our allies as well.
In response to the passage of the Venezuela Arms Restriction Act, Shalala explained that “the world has witnessed the violent actions of Maduro’s security forces and their use of arms, rubber bullets, tear gas, and other dangerous weapons to violently disperse crowds during peaceful protests.” Shalala assured that “with the passage of the Venezuela Arms Restrictions Act, we will move one step closer to ensuring that no weapons originating in the United States are used to silence dissent through intimidation, repression, or execution.”
Earlier in the year, Reps Shalala and Wasserman Schultz took a trip to the Venezuela-Colombia border to experience first-hand the humanitarian and public health crisis at hand.
Sharing her thoughts on the matter, Shalala noted that “the Venezuelan people and the interim President Juan Guaidó have made it clear that Maduro must go.” She detailed that “people are poorer and sicker under Maduro’s power grab, and the United States and our Latin American allies stand together as we continue to apply pressure on the Maduro regime.”