Menendez, Rubio, Kaine, Cardin, Durbin and Cassidy Introduce Senate Resolution to Strengthen Humanitarian Support for Venezuelan Women and Children
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Ranking Member and Chairman of the SFRC Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, and Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) in introducing a bipartisan Senate resolution expressing Congress’s alarm over the growing humanitarian needs of women and children inside Venezuela and those seeking international protection in neighboring countries. Over 5,400,000 Venezuelans have fled their homeland since the start of the crisis. The combined effects of the displacement crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately affected women and children.
Beyond supporting increased U.S. engagement and urging the international community to devote greater attention and resources to addressing the alarming rise in femicides, violence, abuse, and exploitation of Venezuelan women and children, 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.
“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,” Chairman Menendez said. “The United States and our partners must be vigilant in ensuring that healthcare – 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,” Senator Rubio said. “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 over 5.4 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,” Senator Durbin said. “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.”
“In Venezuela, the power of the state is used to crush the lives of women and children. Instead of helping them, it aids and abets drug running and money laundering,” Senator Cassidy said. “This is the Venezuela Maduro has created. The U.S. must do its best to help all those who oppose Maduro.”
In addition to commending the Government of Colombia for joining the United States in granting Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans and urging other refugee-hosting countries to consider similar protections, the resolution also recognizes the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay for their participation in the Quito Process and presses them to act on their commitments to strengthen national processes of documentation and registration and to bolster protections for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.
Find a copy of the resolution HERE.