FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 27, 2017
HUMAN RIGHTS ORG APPLAUDS VENEZUELA SANCTIONS; CALLS ON WHITE HOUSE TO ADDRESS CUBA’S ROLE IN VIOLENCE
Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation welcomes sanctions on Nicolás Maduro’s regime; Cuba must also be held accountable
Washington, D.C. – In response to the Trump Administration’s decision to sanction 13 current and former senior Venezuelan government officials, Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), offered the following statement:
“The sanctions announced by the White House yesterday are a positive step forward in holding Venezuela’s regime responsible for waging a war against their own citizens. Throughout this year’s protests, over 100 protestors have been killed, over 3,500 unjustly detained, and the regime is currently holding over 440 political prisoners, including Joshua Holt, a United States citizen. With the support of Cuba’s communist government, Nicolás Maduro has erased private property, human rights, political freedom, and the rule of law from across the country.
To keep its hold on Venezuela, which it needs for its illicit drug trade, Cuba has embedded thousands of military officers, soldiers, and professionals in Cuba with orders to defend the tyranny with arms. Havana’s military and intelligence operatives will not consider their mission in Venezuela complete until Caracas is transformed into a communist proxy state.”
Smith added: “The Trump Administration should continue drawing a hard line on Cuba until it discontinues its illegal, destabilizing, and repressive presence in Venezuela. Holding Cuba accountable as a state sponsor of terror would reduce Maduro’s ability to commit acts of barbarism against his own citizens, and is a necessary step in achieving Venezuelan peace.”
For more information or to schedule an interview with Marion Smith, VOC Executive Director, please contact Ayla at [email protected] or (202) 629.9500.