NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), along with Senators Rick Scott (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), in introducing the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Reauthorization Act of 2023, legislation to ensure current sanctions against Venezuela remain in place.
On December 21, 2023, the U.S. government’s sanctions against Venezuela’s narco-dictator Nicolás Maduro, and 150 members of his criminal regime responsible for human rights abuses against the Venezuelan people, will expire.
“President Biden continues to appease the Maduro dictatorship and offer sweeping sanctions relief for mere promises of holding free and fair elections even as the regime continues its brutal crackdown on civil society,” said Senator Hagerty. “I’m pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to ensure that sanctions remain on this narcoterrorist regime absent major, credible concessions toward restoring democratic governance in Venezuela.”
“Human rights sanctions remain a crucial tool to help Venezuelans who continue to suffer under Maduro’s criminal regime,” said Senator Rubio. “We have a moral duty to ensure that this narco-regime is held accountable for its countless crimes and that sanctions remain in place.”
The Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Reauthorization Act of 2023 would reauthorize for two years:
- Visa sanctions on Venezuelan officials that approve of Russian military officials travel to Venezuela;
- Export ban on the sale of assault weapons and other crowd control tools to the Venezuelan military; and
- Visa and property blocking sanctions on Venezuelan officials found responsible for violating the internationally recognized human rights of Venezuelan civil society members and human rights activists from the 2014 Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.