Report: Governments target critics during COVID-19

After criticizing the Venezuelan government’s response to COVID-19 in April, human rights lawyer Iván Virgüez was arrested and tortured by the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro. Chinese reporter Zhang Zhan traveled to Wuhan, China, in February 2020 to report on the city’s coronavirus outbreak and was later sentenced to four years in prison. The journalist’s ...
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How Maduro has destroyed life inside Venezuela

By Noelani Kirschner The misrule, oppression and corruption of the illegitimate regime headed by Nicolás Maduro has caused widespread economic suffering and societal collapse in Venezuela. The 2019–2020 National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI, for Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida) — published by researchers at Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas — details how basic infrastructure, ...
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U.S. sanctions on Venezuela explained

By Noelani Kirschner Since 2017, the U.S. has sanctioned people, businesses, and oil entities associated with the former Maduro regime, both inside and outside of Venezuela. Why are sanctions necessary and who actually feels their impact? U.S. sanctions are designed to ensure that Maduro and his cronies don’t profit from  illegal gold mining , state-operated oil operations, or other business ...
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Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Venezuelan Interim President Guaido

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus:‎ Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke yesterday with Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido.  Secretary Pompeo and Interim President Guaido discussed their mutual goal of a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela and the United States’ unwavering support for his leadership and for the liberty and dignity of ...
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The United States Takes Further Action Against Enablers of Venezuelan Oil Transactions, Including Sanctions Evasion Network

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States has sanctioned three individuals and 11 entities for their ties to a network helping Nicolas Maduro and his illegitimate regime evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector.  This action builds on previous sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in a sanctions-evasion scheme benefitting the illegitimate Maduro ...
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The United States Continues To Recognize Interim President Guaidó and the Last Democratically Elected National Assembly in Venezuela

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE On December 6, 2020, the illegitimate Maduro regime staged fraudulent legislative elections in Venezuela. Sixty countries around the world either came together to issue joint statements, including those released by the European Union, the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, and the International Contact Group or issued their ...
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Millions of Venezuelans vote for democracy

Venezuelans at home and abroad stood up for democracy, rejecting efforts by the illegitimate Maduro regime to exert authoritarian control over the National Assembly elections. The United States congratulated the Venezuelan opposition party — led by legitimate interim President Juan Guaidó — for successfully holding the consulta popular — or “ the people’s referendum ” — from December ...
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Maduro’s sham election: ‘Those who don’t vote, won’t eat’

By Noelani Kirschner In the runup to its fraudulent December 6 National Assembly elections, the illegitimate Maduro regime showed how little it cares about ordinary Venezuelans, insinuating it might revoke their social benefits if they did not vote. Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed reservations about the Maduro regime threatening to take away ...
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The United States Supports the Voices of the Venezuelan People

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE We congratulate the Venezuelan people on the success of the Consulta Popular or “People’s Referendum.”  Millions of Venezuelans came together to raise their voice and demand a democratic future for their country.  In every city and small town in Venezuela, as well as hundreds of sites serving the Venezuelan diaspora abroad, ...
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Nations speak out against Maduro’s fraudulent elections

Countries around the world are calling the illegitimate Maduro regime’s recent attempt to undermine democracy in Venezuela a sham. On December 6, the Nicolás Maduro regime unconstitutionally staged National Assembly elections with the intention of overthrowing the democratically elected politicians who stand against Maduro and his cronies. The result was an undemocratic and illegal farce. ...
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Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela strike out against free speech

Free speech for Cubans, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans is under attack by their respective governments. “Freedom of expression is a human right,” Secretary of State  Michael R. Pompeo said on Twitter  on November 24. “The United States stands with Cuba’s people.” In  Cuba , the Castro regime arrested musician Denis Solís González on November 9 and sentenced him to eight months in prison ...
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The two choices for Venezuela’s future

By Noelani Kirschner As the fraudulent December 6 elections raise questions about the future of Venezuela, one thing remains clear: Venezuelans cannot have democracy while an illegitimate authoritarian regime is in power, says the U.S. Department of State. “Many of Venezuela’s most popular politicians are not permitted to run in the election, opposition political parties have been ...
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The United States Condemns the Conviction of the Citgo 6

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States unequivocally condemns the wrongful convictions of the Citgo 6, in a proceeding that should be described as a kangaroo court.  After canceling their initial appearance before a judge dozens of times over the last three years, the illegitimate Venezuelan legal system suddenly convicted and sentenced these ...
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As fraudulent election nears, Maduro cracks down on journalists

Ahead of the unconstitutional and fraudulent  December 6 parliamentary elections  in Venezuela, the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro is cracking down on journalists. The Venezuelan constitution protects freedom of expression, forbids censorship and guarantees access to information. However, Venezuela has fallen 31 places since 2014 in the  World Press Freedom Index  — ranking 147 out of 180 countries — thanks to Maduro’s attacks ...
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OAS: Elections in Venezuela will not be free and fair

The Organization of American States General Assembly passed a resolution October 21 declaring the illegitimate Maduro regime’s December 6 elections in Venezuela will be fraudulent. “We all know there is more work to do to uphold our hemisphere as a hemisphere of freedom,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said October 21 during his virtual ...
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Venezuelans protest for teachers and basic services

Venezuelans continue protesting the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, demanding the restoration of basic services and better treatment for teachers. In one week, from the end of September to the beginning of October 2020, 233 protests swept the country, from rural towns to cities such as Caracas. There were an additional 113 protests across 24 ...
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Venezuela’s crisis threatens nearby democracies

Democracy must be restored in Venezuela because undermining a democracy anywhere is a threat to democracy everywhere, experts say. “This is a country where Maduro has not only taken over most of the bigger opposition parties and tried to replace their leadership with his puppets,” the State Department’s Michael G. Kozak said on September 1, “he’s taken ...
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Maduro targets journalists and doctors, new report says

The illegitimate Maduro regime has used the COVID-19 pandemic to crack down on anyone who doesn’t comply with Maduro, a Human Rights Watch report says. Since mid-March, “Venezuelan authorities have arbitrarily detained and prosecuted dozens of journalists, health care workers, human rights lawyers and political opponents who criticize the government of Nicolás Maduro,”  according to HRW . The organization ...
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U.N. rebukes Maduro for torture, executions, disappearances

Egregious human rights abuses continue to escalate in Venezuela at the hands of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro, according to the United Nations. During an oral update on human rights in Venezuela on September 25, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights  Michelle Bachelet  said that since July 2, “we observed restrictions on freedom of expression, including ...
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Department of State Offers Rewards for Information to Bring Former Venezuelan Public Officials to Justice

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Today the U.S. Department of State announces reward offers of up to $5 million each for information leading to the arrests and/or convictions of Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez and Eustiquio José Lugo Gómez.  In 2015, Motta Dominguez was named President of the National Electricity Corporation (Corpoelec) in Venezuela, and ...
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How Maduro has destroyed life inside Venezuela

The misrule, oppression and corruption of the illegitimate regime headed by Nicolás Maduro has caused widespread economic suffering and societal collapse in Venezuela. The 2019–2020 National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI, for Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida) — published by researchers at Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas — details how basic infrastructure, the ...
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Venezuela: A Democratic Crisis

INTRODUCTION The United States is working with a global coalition of countries in support of the Venezuelan people as they fight to restore democracy and rebuild the economy in their country, which currently suffers under the repressive and corrupt misrule of the dictator Nicolas Maduro and his illegitimate regime. We recognize and support interim President Juan Guaido and the National Assembly, which is the sole remaining legitimate ...
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The United States Sanctions Additional Individuals Involved in the Illegitimate Maduro Regime’s Attempts to Corrupt Democratic Elections in Venezuela

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Today, the United States is sanctioning, José Bernabé Gutiérrez Parra, Miguel Antonio José Ponente Parra, Guillermo Antonio Luces Osorio, Chaim José Bucaran Paraguan, and Williams José Benavides Rondón for their complicity in enabling Maduro’s efforts to rob the people of Venezuela of their right to choose their leaders in ...
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The United States Announces Additional Assistance to Respond to the Venezuela Crisis

PRESS STATEMENT MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States remains the largest single donor of humanitarian and development assistance around the world, including for Venezuelans in need, because doing our part to respond to global crisis situations is a national security priority. The United States is demonstrating our continued commitment to the Venezuelan ...
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Briefing With Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams On Developments in Iran and Venezuela

MS ORTAGUS: Thank you so much and good afternoon, everybody. I know we’re having this call right after we did the press conference with the Secretary and we have another briefing later today, so apologies that we’re piling all of you up today. We’re going to try to allow for as much time as possible for ...
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Maduro calls Venezuelans with COVID-19 ‘bioterrorists’

The illegitimate Maduro regime wants Venezuelans to denounce their neighbors who are sick with COVID-19, calling them “bioterrorists.” Nicolás Maduro’s National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela  encouraged citizens  to look for sick Venezuelans, saying a returning migrant “is a bioterrorist who puts everyone’s health at risk.” They also provided an email address and asked anyone with information ...
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The United States Responds to the Maduro Regime’s Attempts To Corrupt Democratic Elections in Venezuela

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The United States Responds to the Maduro Regime’s Attempts to Corrupt Democratic Elections in Venezuela Today, the United States is sanctioning, under Executive Order 13692, David Eugenio de Lima Salas, Reinaldo Enrique Muñoz Pedroza, Indira Maira Alfonzo Izaguirre, and Jose Luis Gutierrez Parra in light of their involvement in Maduro’s efforts to manipulate the Venezuelan National Assembly and ...
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Recent Developments in Venezuela

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE The Maduro regime’s announcement of conditional dismissal of criminal charges against roughly one-third of the political prisoners it holds does not solve, nor even address, Venezuela’s underlying political crisis.  Hundreds of political prisoners remain, and like those now offered house arrest or an end (for the moment) to their criminal cases, none of these Venezuelans ...
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Regimes target the faithful in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela

Freedom of religion is under attack in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, due to authoritarian regimes determined to control expressions of faith. Dictators in the countries, or their proxies, have burned churches and harassed or teargassed worshipers, U.S. Agency for International Development Acting Administrator John Barsa told an August 20 discussion on religious freedom in the ...
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Countries worldwide call for democracy in Venezuela

Thirty-three countries from around the globe, including members of the Lima Group and the International Contact Group and some European Union member states, signed a joint declaration calling for democracy in Venezuela. The declaration , released August 14, is a call “to put the interests of Venezuela above politics and engage urgently in support of a process ...
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Maduro’s election plan: No participation, no choice

The illegitimate Maduro regime has been promoting its unconstitutional reshaping of the election of Venezuela’s National Assembly members with the social media tag #ParticipaYElige — “participate and choose.” Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to undermine the election process of National Assembly members is further evidence of the regime’s deepening corruption, said Elliott Abrams, the U.S. Department of ...
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Briefing With Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ambassador Michael Kozak On the Administration’s Efforts to Promote Democracy

SPECIAL BRIEFING MICHAEL G. KOZAK, ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY BUREAU OF WESTERN HEMISPHERE AFFAIRS VIA TELECONFERENCE MR BROWN: Hey. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for this on-the-record briefing with Acting Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Ambassador Michael Kozak. Ambassador Kozak will discuss the administration’s actions that have deepened democracy in the Western ...
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Public Designation of Former Officials of the Illegitimate Maduro Regime Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption (July 28)

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE Today, I am announcing the designation of former Venezuelan Minister of Electric Power and President of Corpoelec, Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez, and former Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Finance, Investment, and Strategic Alliances for the Ministry of Electric Power and Director of Procurement of Corpoelec, Eustiquio Jose Lugo Gomez.  They have been designated for accepting monetary benefits, including bribes and kickbacks, in exchange for awarding ...
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U.N. report cites atrocities for Venezuelans in mining area (July 27)

By Noelani Kirschner – Jul 27, 2020 The  Orinoco mining arc  in Venezuela is rife with human rights abuses, including sexual exploitation and trafficking, and killings, according to a United Nations report. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet  released a report  on July 15 that collected victim and witness accounts. They detail abuses committed against miners and indigenous people in the arc. ...
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Maduro steps up corruption, human rights violations (July 13)

Maduro steps up corruption, human rights violations (July 13)   The illegitimate Maduro regime continues to undermine both human rights and democracy in Venezuela. Enforced disappearances of Venezuelan civilians by the regime are on the rise, according to  a report by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights group and Forno Penal , a Venezuelan human rights organization. The regime has kidnapped civilians it suspects of being political dissidents, ...
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Pompeo: U.S. ‘undaunted in our pursuit of bringing terrorists to justice’ (June 25)

Pompeo: U.S. ‘undaunted in our pursuit of bringing terrorists to justice’ (June 25)   The United States is working with countries around the world to combat terrorism through multilateral engagement and international organizations. “No administration has forged closer ties in our hemisphere and alliances working on important problems like counterterrorism,” said Secretary of State Michael ...
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U.S. partners support Venezuelan refugees and their host countries (June 17)

U.S. partners support Venezuelan refugees and their host countries (June 17)   Venezuelans who fled their country to escape  poverty , political repression and crippling inflation caused by the illegitimate Maduro regime struggle to support themselves. That’s why the United States is funding nongovernmental organizations to help displaced Venezuelans start new careers in new countries. The ...
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The United States Condemns Maduro’s Latest Step to Rig the Next Venezuelan Election (June 15)

The United States Condemns Maduro’s Latest Step to Rig the Next Venezuelan Election (June 15)   Free elections are the path out of Venezuela’s deep political crisis.  Unfortunately, on June 12, the Maduro regime-controlled Supreme Court continued to manipulate the Venezuelan Constitution by illegally naming a new, regime-aligned National Electoral Council (CNE). Venezuelans deserve an ...
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In Defense of Democracy in Venezuela (May 29)

In Defense of Democracy in Venezuela (May 29)   The United States reaffirms our commitment to Venezuela’s legitimate National Assembly and the 100 deputies across all party lines under interim President Guaido’s leadership, who daily face threats and intimidation by the illegitimate former Maduro regime. We strongly condemn the illegitimate former Maduro regime’s most recent ...
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U.S. Participates in the International Donors Conference in Solidarity with the Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants (May 22)

U.S. Participates in the International Donors Conference in Solidarity with the Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants (May 22)   Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Carol Thompson O’Connell will lead the U.S. delegation to the May 26 International Donors Conference in Solidarity with the Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants, ...
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The United States Designates Company Providing Services for Iranian Airline Mahan Air’s Operations in China (May 19)

The United States Designates Company Providing Services for Iranian Airline Mahan Air’s Operations in China (May 19)   The People’s Republic of China is one of the rapidly dwindling number of countries that welcomes Mahan Air, which ferries weapons and terrorists around the world for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such cooperation has consequences. Today, ...
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How to prevent another failure of democracy in Venezuela (May 18)

How to prevent another failure of democracy in Venezuela (May 18)   It’s been two years since the illegitimate election of Nicolás Maduro, during which time Venezuela has plunged into even greater turmoil and suffering. Within five days of the May 20, 2018, election, 46 countries declared the results illegitimate, according to the  Electoral Integrity Project . The ...
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Countries Certified as Not Cooperating Fully With U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts (May 13)

Countries Certified as Not Cooperating Fully With U.S. Counterterrorism Efforts (May 13)   Yesterday, the Department of State notified Congress that Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Cuba were certified under Section 40A(a) of the Arms Export Control Act as “not cooperating fully” with U.S. counterterrorism efforts in 2019.  This is the first year that ...
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Iranian regime profits from Maduro’s stolen gold (May 11)

Iranian regime profits from Maduro’s stolen gold (May 11) Mahan Air, Iran’s largest commercial airline, has been flying to Venezuela and leaving with tons of gold bars that the Maduro regime has stolen from the Venezuelan people, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said. “These flights must stop, and countries should do their part to ...
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Amid COVID-19, reporters still face persecution in China, Iran, and Venezuela (May 8)

Amid COVID-19, reporters still face persecution in China, Iran, and Venezuela (May 8)   Countries that were ranked low in the latest  World Press Freedom Index  were also among the most likely to suppress reporting about COVID-19. The index is compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders, an international nongovernmental organization that monitors media freedom around the world. It was ...
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Restoring free and fair elections in Venezuela (April 2)

Restoring free and fair elections in Venezuela (April 2)   The United States released a framework that builds upon the proposals put forward by the interim government of Venezuela for a path to free and fair presidential elections in that country. “This framework can provide a path that ends the suffering and opens the path ...
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Protecting Venezuela’s Assets for Benefit of Venezuelan People (January 29)

Protecting Venezuela’s Assets for Benefit of Venezuelan People (January 29) Robert Palladino  Deputy Spokesperson Washington, DC January 29, 2019 On January 25, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo certified the authority of Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaido to receive and control certain property in accounts of the Government of Venezuela or Central Bank of Venezuela held ...
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Sanctions Against PDVSA and Venezuela Oil Sector (January 28)

Sanctions Against PDVSA and Venezuela Oil Sector (January 28) Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State Washington, DC January 28, 2019 Today, the United States has taken necessary actions to prevent the illegitimate former Maduro regime from further plundering Venezuela’s assets and natural resources. The United States has determined that persons operating in Venezuela’s oil sector ...
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Remarks at a United Nations Security Council Meeting on Venezuela (January 26)

Remarks at a United Nations Security Council Meeting on Venezuela (January 26)   Michael R. Pompeo Secretary of State United Nations New York City January 26, 2019 Good morning. On behalf of President Trump and the American people I first want to thank Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas of the Dominican Republic, the current president of ...
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