Cuban-American Legislators Launch Offensive to Sanction Venezuela

HAVANA TIMES — Democrat and Republican senators and representatives lodged bills on Thursday to impose sanctions on the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela for being responsible for the recent repression of protests, DPA reported.

The Senate bill: “Defense of Venezuela’s Human Rights and Civil Society”, would empower US President Barack Obama to impose sanctions on “any person, including a current or former official of the government of Venezuela, or those who act on behalf of the said government” who has participated in or ordered “significant acts of violence or grave violations of human rights against persons involved in anti-government protests” in Venezuela.

The revocations of visas, expulsion from the country, or the freezing of assets in the United States, are among the sanctions envisaged by the bill.

“Given the rampant impunity in Venezuela,” the United States will not stand idly by with “the human rights violations in Caracas and across the country,” Democrat Senator and drafter of bill Bob Menendez said on submitting the proposal.

The legislation “serves as a strong warning to the members of the government, the Venezuelan security forces and armed civilian groups involved in violence that the United States will not tolerate this type of behavior and respond accordingly to help strengthen civil society Venezuela, while specific sanctions are imposed on the individuals responsible”, he added.

Menendez is the chair of the Senate Committee for Foreign Relations that approved a resolution condemning the “violent repression” of protests in Venezuela this week and urged President Obama to impose direct sanctions on those responsible for the “inexcusable” violence taking place in the South American country.

The bill submitted also envisages the allocation of some 15 million dollars to “defend human rights, support democratic civil society organizations, help independent media and strengthen good governance and the rule of law” in Venezuela.

The new legislation has been backed, among others, by Republican Senator Marco Rubio who, like Menendez, is of Cuban origin and a staunch critic of the Venezuelan government.

The House of Representatives received a similar proposal drafted by Cuban-born Republic congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is also highly critical of Maduro’s government. This bill was backed by nine legislators from both parties.

The “Venezuelan Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act” seeks to “hold the violators of human rights of Maduro’s regime accountable,” declared Ros-Lehtinen.

The bill “sends a clear message to Maduro and other repressive leaders in the region that the U.S. will not stand idly by as they assault democratic institutions and violate human rights,” the Florida legislator declared.

The US Congress will recess next week, making it difficult for the two chambers of Congress to debate the proposals. Nevertheless, these legislative proposals are a clear sign of the concerns about Venezuela currently being voiced in the White House, where, in recent days, legislators from both the Senate and House criticized the situation in the South American country and demanded a firm response from Washington before Secretary of State John Kerry.


17 thoughts on “Cuban-American Legislators Launch Offensive to Sanction Venezuela

  • March 21, 2014 at 4:16 am
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    it’s incredible how you can get so much wrong and not realize it. the cubans staffing the hotel were fabulous. the problem was foreign management. we were introduced to them after a concert. everything they did was incompetent. who ever designed the hotel was also incompetent. ours was made of drywall with foam trim, with decorations from home depot, made in china specifically for foreigners,(absolute crap) of a style representing someones strange idea of what one might experience on some far away planet whose people hated viewing the ocean and wanted it to look like it was from a country on earth other than cuba. the occupancy rate was 55%. that was the fault of those responsible for the marketing. have you viewed the sunwing website. i could go on and on but you would pick one thing i said and somehow get it backwards. you are so ever so helpful to the american government as a spreader of propaganda.

  • March 20, 2014 at 6:32 pm
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    With the exception of the Hotel Manager, ALL of the tourist hotel management staff are Cubans. In some cases, even the Hotel Manager. The “foreign investor” such as the Spanish hotelier Melia has very little say regarding the day-to-day management of their properties in Cuba. They certainly do not make hiring/firing decisions. Given the immense capital investment needs in Cuba, the only way to compete for tourism dollars in the Caribbean against giants like Cancun and Jamaica is through debt. A pay-as-you-go strategy is naïve. Cubans are quite aware of the “latest technology and efficiencies” in the marketplace. Awareness and being able to buy and/or implement and maintain this new way of doing things is another matter altogether. This has nothing to do with propaganda and the other excuses you want to give them.

  • March 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm
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    was thinking about tourist dollars to start… and what a disaster the hotels are. if only the cuban government were a little more business savvy they would demand much better management from the foreign investors. like you i agree cuba is mismanaged but with a few simple changes which does not include a change of government it could do quite well. borrowing is not something i would encourage. they have far more resources than they realize and a state run economy is ten times as efficient as a market run. they just need to be made more aware of the latest technology and efficiencies instead of being beaten down by misleading propaganda and destabilized by those who are afraid of equality.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm
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    What “extra funds” are you referring to? Don’t just guess or spew propaganda. You clearly don’t understand how the embargo affects Cuba. Lifting the embargo will not suddenly cause more potatoes to grow or keep buildings from falling down. Lifting the embargo will allow Cuba to borrow more money and pay back these loans in US dollars. However, in order to pay these loans, Cuba will have to become more productive to earn more money. Once they earn more money, they will be able to borrow more money to fund greater capital investment. Cubans are still poor and will remain so until productivity increases and low salaries are a major cause of low production. None of what I have written is distorted or out of context.

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm
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    its a little difficult to discuss anything with you as you distort and take everything out of context. of course cuba is a hellish place if you compare it to utopia. can you imagine how it might flourish if the usa lifted its embargo? with all the extra funds to distribute to it citizens i think it would be a different place… with all thats stacked against their government no wonder they are not doing well. it seems to me that the rest of the world takes a step back once in a while even without the tremendous interference.

  • March 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm
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    If I am having a hard time understanding it is because what you are saying does not make sense. Cuba has taken one step forward and two steps back. People used to migrate TO Cuba. Now, Cubans risk their lives to escape Cuba. More buildings fall down in Havana than are being built. Cubans consume fewer calories today than they did prior to 1959 and so on. You call this forward?

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm
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    you seem to have a very hard time understanding what i’m saying. with a little help cuba could be a great place for everyone. you are only able to include the better part of north american life in your comparison. (incarceration rate usa 716, cuba 510) cuba has come along way since the revolution when the american government had so much negative influence. the usa is moving backward.

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:23 am
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    I have lived in Cuba. I am married to a Cuban. I know Cuba firsthand. Cubans pay for most of their daily needs at the same price that foreigners pay. Indeed, anything that a Cuban can buy at a reduced price is usually what most Cubans don’t want anyway. Government deductions is nothing unique to Cuba. However in Cuba these ‘deductions’ appear to exceed more than 95% of earned wages. Have you ever seen a Cuban hospital? Been to a Cuban classroom? Ridden on a Cuban guagua? Did you read what you wrote after you wrote it? “it’s just for food, clothing, etc.” Since a pound of chicken costs more in Cuba than it costs in the WalMarts Superstore near my house, how far do you think that $26 stretches? A pair of Adidas running shoes in Cuba costs double what it costs at the outlet stores in San Francisco, so how can Cubans manage to eat AND buy clothes each month on that $26? You are the one being fooled.

  • March 19, 2014 at 3:11 am
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    moses, i’m sure you are a good guy but you don’t get it. the $26 isn’t their full wages, it’s just for food, clothing, etc.. the government deducts the rest for education, transportation, healthcare etc. you might also understand that they are not charged the same amount for goods as tourists.

    sorry moses but you have been fooled by silly and dangerous american propaganda. don’t feel so bad. so have most of the world.

  • March 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm
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    Are you really that uninformed? The average Cuban salary is around 23 cuc or about $26 per month. I wrote dollars but I meant cuc.

  • March 18, 2014 at 6:07 pm
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    average monthly salary $23.00!!!! if that were true they would only have food for a day or two and no shelter, no access to health care, transportation, electricity, schooling including higher education or ….. come on moses, you are either a cia agent spreading propaganda or hugely lacking. if you were a stand up guy and properly calculated their income based on the us dollar, what might you think it be? perhaps $1500 or more. maybe not cia, how about republican?

  • March 16, 2014 at 9:44 pm
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    You wrote, “…you’d be thankful you have all you do”. This implies that Cubans have ‘something’ for which they are not thankful. Really? Are you referring to the shortages? The building collapses? The average monthly salary of $23.00? Would you trade your lifestyle for that of the average Cuban? By the way, ask a Cuban what it means to “resuelve” if you want to know what it means to be taught to steal from each other.

  • March 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm
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    perhaps the same reason why the voters in the crimea voted to join russia rather than the west.

  • March 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm
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    perhaps you might read my comment again. you seemed to have missed the point.

  • March 16, 2014 at 7:40 am
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    Cubans want exactly what most Canadians and Americans want. The vision of Cuba you seem to have come away with is the typical tourist perspective. You see what Cubans have and decided that it has more value than what they don’t have. The problem is that you have choices that most Cubans have never had. For example, you can eat like a Cuban if that is your preference. They can’t eat like a Canadian even if they wanted to.

  • March 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm
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    Apparently the millions who have fled Cuba disagree with you. If they had it so good why would they want to leave? Why would thousands upon thousands escape on rickety rafts and risk death ….don’t you just hate those unappreciative Cubans

  • March 15, 2014 at 5:53 am
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    american’s are quite the hypocrites. i recently returned to canada from cuba. what a wonderful people and country. if you only knew what it was really like to live in canada and the usa you’d be thankful you have all you do. god help the millions and millions without access to adequate medical care, food or housing. we don’t share here, we are trained to steal from each other.

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