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Reps. Mucarsel-Powell, Shalala, Wasserman Schultz Statement on Jan. 23 Mass Protest Against Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, Juan Guaidó Role as Interim President

Washington, DC, January 23, 2019

Sixty-one years ago today, the people of Venezuela took a stand and overthrew former Venezuelan dictator Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez. As Venezuelans take the streets today to demand democracy and protest the Maduro regime, calls for a return to democratic ideals will be heard throughout the country and the world. Below is a statement from Representatives Donna Shalala (FL-27), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26):

“I have always joined the millions of Venezuelans in recognizing the National Assembly as the only legitimate governing institution in Venezuela and calling for new elections,” said Rep. Mucarsel-Powell. “I am hopeful that this step of invoking the country’s constitution to declare Maduro an illegitimate president and have interim President Juan Guaidó legitimately fill the vacancy will bring Venezuela closer to restoring stability and democracy to their country. The Venezuelan people – those who have remained in the country as well as those who have fled – have suffered tremendously, and Maduro can no longer lead the country. Estamos con ustedes.”

“I urge Maduro to respect the right to peaceful protest. To the people of Venezuela who are demanding freedom and a return to democracy, I want you to know that you have a friend and ally in Miami – estamos con ustedes,” said Rep. Shalala. “Along with my South Florida colleagues in the House of Representatives, we will continue to stand with you and call out Maduro and his dictatorial, mafia state. His authoritarian rule has made people poorer, hungrier, sicker, and less free.”

“I join my South Florida colleagues in Congress and leaders around the world in recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, emphatically reiterating Nicolas Maduro’s illegitimacy, and calling for Venezuela to swiftly hold new, open and fair elections,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “Invoking the national Constitution, and recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim president, can move Venezuela toward a more peaceful, stable, and democratic government. I continue to stand with the Venezuelan people, both here in the United States and those struggling for freedom in Venezuela. Estamos con ustedes.”   

“The people of Venezuela have made clear that they will not tolerate Maduro’s power grab and authoritarian rule, and I stand with them in recognizing Juan Guaidó as interim president,” said Rep. Shalala. “The National Assembly, the only legitimate democratic institution in Venezuela, chose to invoke the country’s constitution and declare Maduro illegitimate, creating a vacancy in the office of the presidency that will be filled by Guaidó until new elections formally declare a new president. I look forward to joining with my colleagues, the administration, and the legitimate, constitutionally-defined leaders of Venezuela as we work towards true freedom for the Venezuelan people.”