Deepening Political and Economic Crisis in Venezuela: Implications for U.S. Interests and the Western Hemisphere, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women's Issues, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, March 17, 2015   [open pdf - 1MB]

This is a testimony compilation of the March 17, 2015 hearing "Deepening Political and Economic Crisis in Venezuela: Implications for U.S. Interests and the Western Hemisphere," held before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the opening statement of Chairman Marco Rubio: "With vast oil reserves, Venezuela is one of the richest countries in Latin America. The Venezuelan people are intelligent, well-educated and hardworking people. The evidence of this can be found in my home state, in Miami, and Doral and Weston, Florida where a vibrant Venezuelan community has helped build quality and vibrant communities. And Venezuela is also the cradle of democracy in South America. And that is why it is so tragic that Venezuela has turned into a social, political, and economic disaster. The reason for this is simple, because today that nation is increasingly in the iron grip of corrupt and incompetent leaders. A rich country, suffering from a massive and growing shortage of food, medicine, and basic goods. To the point where Maduro has had to order supermarkets to install fingerprint scanners to enforce food rations. […] The people of Venezuela deserve better than this. And while the direction of their future belongs to them, we will be a strong voice in firm support of their aspirations for a better country and a better life. And we will not allow those who are violating their rights and denying them this better future the chance to come to Doral or Weston, or to Miami or CocoPlum, and enjoy life with the money they have stolen from their own people." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Alex Lee, John Smith, Douglas Farah, Santiago Canton, and Christopher Sabatini.

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