WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) released the following statement Thursday in response to the announcement by Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) to delay until 2017 the scheduling of a recall referendum on President Nicolas Maduro’s mandate:
“Through excessive delays and unconstitutional restrictions, the National Electoral Council is subverting what little remains of democracy in Venezuela. The CNE’s decision denies Venezuelans their democratic right to be heard and serves as another appalling example of the country’s institutions favoring their entrenched, embattled leaders over the Venezuelan people and constitution. The brazen delay also ensures that Venezuela’s political, economic and humanitarian crisis will continue unabated with growing numbers of political prisoners and people going hungry.”
The Senators are co-sponsors of S.Res. 537, a resolution expressing concern about the crisis in Venezuela, urging the release of political prisoners, and calling for respect of constitutional and democratic processes.