Salazar wants Maduro held accountable in Venezuela

U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) earlier this week requested that President Joe Biden reimpose sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela for trying to annul the election of an opponent in the country’s presidential primaries.

“Dictator Nicolás Maduro wants to handpick an opposition candidate that is not a threat to him,” wrote Rep. Salazar in an Oct. 31 letter sent to Biden. “This is a clear breach of the agreement reached on the 17th of October in Barbados which you facilitated. As such, you must keep the agreement and reimpose sanctions.”

President Biden last month agreed to a deal with the Maduro regime to establish fair and democratic presidential elections. In exchange, the Biden administration removed sanctions on Venezuelan oil, gas, and gold. But Maduro immediately violated the agreement when in the same month he suspended the results of the primary elections where María Corina Machado won more than 92 percent of the more than 2.5 million votes cast by Venezuelans, according to Rep. Salazar.

Maduro, who repeatedly has proven his unwillingness to hold free and fair elections in Venezuela, in June had also declared Machado’s campaign illegal and used violence and intimidation tactics to suppress her grassroots campaign efforts across Venezuela, the congresswoman wrote.

“We must ensure Maria Corina remains the candidate of the opposition,” Rep. Salazar wrote. “The concessions you made to the dictatorship… must be immediately rescinded and new coercive measures must be placed on the table. Do not let Maduro get away with this.”