WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) issued the following statement after the Organization of American States (OAS) affirmatively voted today to review the OAS Secretary General’s report on the deteriorating political and economic situation in Venezuela.
“Secretary General Almagro’s leadership in invoking the OAS Inter-American Democratic Charter is a much-needed step toward defusing Venezuela’s urgent and deepening political, economic, and humanitarian crises,” said the Senators. “As Venezuelans suffer the widespread scarcity of basic food products, the near collapse of their public health system, growing social unrest, and the undermining of their democratic institutions it is imperative that OAS member states support a timely, peaceful resolution to the country’s current challenges.
“International efforts to facilitate dialogue between both sides of Venezuela’s political divide are essential, and must include a call for the release of all political prisoners and the restoration of democratic order in the country. This includes Venezuelans being permitted to exercise their constitutional right to pursue a recall referendum in a timely manner if they so choose.”
Earlier this month, Senator Durbin hosted a bipartisan meeting with Secretary General Almagro to discuss a number of issues in Latin America, particularly the need for a negotiated resolution to the crisis in Venezuela.