Sen. Rick Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio & Colleagues Introduce Reauthorization to Preserve Sanctions Against Maduro Regime

November 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Senator Rick Scott joined Senator Marco Rubio and their colleagues to introduce the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Reauthorization Act of 2023 to ensure current U.S. government’s sanctions against Venezuela’s narco-dictator Nicolás Maduro, and 150 members of his criminal regime responsible for human rights abuses against the Venezuelan people, remain in place. Without action, the sanctions will expire on December 21, 2023. Joining Senators Scott and Rubio in their efforts are Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).


Senator Rick Scott said, “Time after time we’ve seen President Joe Biden appease murderous dictators like Maduro by lifting sanctions, allowing millions of dollars to fuel his dangerous regime and further destabilize the region. The people of Venezuela made their choice by backing María Corina Machado as the legitimate opposition leader, and now the United States must use every opportunity it has to put the full support behind the voice for freedom, using every sanction within the power of our nation to hold Maduro accountable. I’m proud to join Senator Rubio in this bill to reauthorize sanctions that impose human rights sanctions on the Maduro regime and ensures the U.S. only supports those who are fighting for a truly democratic and free Venezuela.”


Senator Marco Rubio said, “Human rights sanctions remain a crucial tool to help Venezuelans who continue to suffer under Maduro’s criminal regime. We have a moral duty to ensure that this narco-regime is held accountable for its countless crimes and that sanctions remain in place.”


Senator Ted Cruz said, “Appeasement of the Maduro regime has only resulted in more violent aggression and repression by the regime. Now is exactly the wrong time to weaken American sanctions meant to hold the regime accountable.”


Senator Bill Hagerty said, “President Biden continues to appease the Maduro dictatorship and offer sweeping sanctions relief for mere promises of holding free and fair elections even as the regime continues its brutal crackdown on civil society. I’m pleased to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to ensure that sanctions remain on this narcoterrorist regime absent major, credible concessions toward restoring democratic governance in Venezuela.”


This bill would reauthorize, for two years, the following: 

  • Visa sanctions on Venezuelan officials that approve of Russian military officials travel to Venezuela;
  • Export ban on the sale of assault weapons and other crowd control tools to the Venezuelan military; and
  • Visa and property blocking sanctions on Venezuelan officials found responsible for violating the internationally recognized human rights of Venezuelan civil society members and human rights activists from the 2014 Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act.