March 21, 2019

Bipartisan Senate Leaders Condemn Arrest Of Interim Venezuelan President Guaido’s Chief Of Staff

WASHINGTON – Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) today called for the immediate and unconditional release of Roberto Marrero, Interim Venezuela President Juan Guaidó’s chief of staff.  Marrero was abducted by Venezuelan secret police early this morning in a desperate attempt by criminal elements of the outgoing regime to intimidate members of the internationally recognized government.  The inflammatory move came as Venezuelans are enduring even greater human suffering, including staggering rates of malnutrition and disease, while discredited Maduro cronies continue to line their pockets with stolen public assets.     

“My staff has been in contact with President Guiadó who said Marrero remains unjustly imprisoned.  This is a dangerous escalation by Maduro and his thugs, which must be immediately reversed.  With so many Venezuelans going hungry and fleeing for their lives, the real criminals are the Maduro cabal and their Cuban puppeteers,” said Durbin

“Today’s desperate and despicable action by Maduro’s SEBIN forces against a member of President Guaidó’s inner circle is a significant escalation of repression,” Rubio said.  “Maduro's decision to arbitrarily detain Roberto Marrero and stage fake evidence against him is a clear indication that Maduro is testing the international community’s resolve as Maduro attempts to hold his illegitimate grip on power.  Those responsible must be held accountable."

“I strongly condemn the abduction of Roberto Marrero, the latest Maduro attack on democracy and human rights in Venezuela.  I stand with Interim President Guiadó in calling for his immediate release, along with the other political prisoners unjustly detained by SEBIN,” Cardin said.  “The international community stands ready to provide the Venezuelan people with the humanitarian assistance they so desperately need, but Maduro continues to show the world that he is more interested in attempting to cling to his own power and wealth.”

“Maduro’s kidnapping and imprisonment of President Guiadó’s chief of staff is an unacceptable escalatory step and the international community remains united against his continued tyrannical rule. The United States stands with the Venezuelan people and demands the immediate release of Robert Marrero,” said Kaine.