WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a bipartisan resolution expressing Congress’s alarm over the growing humanitarian needs of women and children inside Venezuela. Over 5,400,000 Venezuelans have fled their homeland since the start of the crisis. President Nicolas Maduro’s oppressive dictatorship has disproportionately hurt women and children, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the situation.
The resolution underscores the importance of Venezuelan women’s active participation in efforts to restore democratic governance and address the complex humanitarian crisis that has now affected nearly every country in this hemisphere. It also urges the international community to devote greater attention and resources on addressing the alarming rise in femicides, violence, abuse, and exploitation of Venezuelan women and children.
“In Venezuela, the power of the state is used to crush the lives of women and children,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Instead of helping them, it aids and abets drug running and money laundering. This is the Venezuela Maduro has created. The U.S. must do it’s best to help all those who oppose Maduro.”
“The Maduro regime’s unbridled criminality and despotism have given rise to the most severe refugee and migration crisis in our hemisphere’s modern history. As the regime continues to neglect the health, safety, and potential of its women and children, it continues generating instability throughout the region,” said Senator Menendez. “The United States and our partners must be vigilant in ensuring that health care – including mental health resources – shelter, food assistance, and other basic services are available and accessible to Venezuelan families. I am proud to introduce this resolution that lauds our neighbors’ generosity in hosting displaced Venezuelans and serves as a clarion call to strengthen protections for Venezuelan women and children in the face of vast challenges.”
“The human cost of the Maduro narco-regime’s humanitarian debacle has resulted in the displacement of 6 million Venezuelans worldwide,” said Senator Rubio. “Responsible nations in our region continue to lend a helping hand as Venezuelan migrants and refugees flee the hardships of tyranny and oppression. I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues in introducing this resolution, which calls for supporting efforts that protect women and girls who are fleeing this manmade crisis.”
“The Maduro regime has done devastating harm across Venezuela, hurting women and children in particular,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m proud to help introduce this bipartisan resolution to send a clear message that the U.S. stands with the Venezuelan people and will continue to provide humanitarian aid. As Chair of the SFRC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, I will continue working to address this crisis.”
“Venezuela is facing a crisis situation with more than 5 million displaced Venezuelans worldwide. This bill provides a pathway for the U.S. to continue working closely with countries hosting Venezuelan refugees and migrants, to ensure that food, shelter, health care and other basic services are accessible to these refugees – particularly women and children – who so desperately need it,” said Senator Cardin.
“I visited Venezuela a few years ago and saw firsthand how the cruelty of the Maduro dictatorship particularly impacted women and children. In one hospital I visited for example, basic drugs, vaccines, and equipment were simply nonexistent. Health experts explained of heartbreaking child malnutrition. Millions have fled with young children as refugees into neighboring countries. All the while, the ruling cabal makes sure its cold-hearted enablers are well fed and funded,” said Senator Durbin. “I applaud the Biden Administration’s granting of TPS for Venezuelans in the U.S. and urge continued diplomatic and humanitarian engagement to end the political and human crises.”