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Monday, April 16, 2018

Bill Nelson advocates increasing sanctions for Maduro

Por Damian

Florida Senator Bill Nelson pleaded recently in favor of increasing economic sanctions against the Nicolás Maduro regime, insisting that much remains to be done to contain the systematic destruction of the South American country. Nelson, who celebrated Venezuelan Exile Day at an event organized in the Pembroke Pines´s town hall, added that the United States must also continue fighting to isolate the regime politically, and undo the control that Maduro still exercises over some of the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS).

"We must continue to increase the economic sanctions imposed on Maduro and his henchmen", Nelson said at the event, where he was honored with "the Order of Exile", from the VEPPEX organization.

"Only recently the Treasury Department finally heard our concerns about how Maduro, with the help of Russia, was seeking to evade sanctions through the crypto-currency called Petro. [...] But there is still much more to be done", he said at the event, organized in part thanks to the Venezuelan American Democratic Club.

Despite belonging to the Democratic Party, Nelson has been working closely with Republican Senator Marco Rubio to advance the Washington agenda in favor of extending the international fence imposed on Maduro. That initiative, which has also been strongly supported by Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, has led Washington to impose individual economic sanctions against dozens of high-ranking Maduro´s sympathizers, accused of corruption, of destroying democracy and to violate human rights.

More than three million Venezuelans (around 10 percent of the population) have been forced to flee the country due to the social and economic collapse caused by two decades of economic policies that are hostile to private entrepreneurship and the gigantic corruption associated with Maduro´s regime.

The country is the victim of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and the displaced population requires humanitarian assistance, at a time when hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed the borders of neighboring countries in search of food and medicine. Jose Antonio Colina, president of the VEPPEX organization, said during the event that the Venezuelan people feel a deep appreciation for the American leaders who have assumed the Venezuelan cause like theirs. At the same time, Colina also asked the administration of President Donald Trump for a little more leniency toward the dozens of thousands of Venezuelans who are in the United States and still don´t have immigration protection.

The deportations of Venezuelans that are taking place are not consistent with the administration's efforts "to help Venezuelans confront the perverse narco-dictatorship", Colina said. Many of the young people who are being deported run the risk of being arrested, tortured and killed when they set foot in Venezuela, he added.