Durbin, Menendez Meet Virtually With Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó & Chief Negotiator Gerardo Blyde
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today met virtually with Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó and Mr. Gerardo Blyde, chief negotiator for the Unitary Platform, to discuss efforts to address the country’s humanitarian crisis and negotiations for a credible 2024 presidential election.
“In the face of Maduro’s cruelty and criminal ineptitude, interim President Guaidó stands for a better future for the Venezuelan people. His efforts to negotiate desperately needed humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people and a credible internationally monitored 2024 presidential election deserve the world’s strong support,” said Durbin.
“I greatly appreciated the opportunity to engage in frank and open dialogue with Interim President Guaidó and Mr. Blyde. We stand in solidarity with their efforts to find a diplomatic solution to end Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and create the conditions for restoring democracy in their country. As they pursue negotiations, the United States and the broader international community must stand ready to impose additional costs on Maduro if he again tries to drag out these talks to cling to power,” said Menendez.
A photo of the meeting is available here.
Venezuela’s protracted humanitarian crisis continues to drive migration, with nearly seven million people having fled in desperation. As a result, Venezuela is facing the second largest external displacement crisis in the world. The population that remains in Venezuela faces violence, insecurity, and increased risk of exploitation.
Durbin and Menendez have repeatedly called for Temporary Protected Status forVenezuelans in the United States. In January 2021, the Senators introduced theVenezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2021, which would grant Temporary Protected Status for eligible Venezuelans fleeing the dire conditions in their home country and to strengthen migration systems in countries surrounding Venezuela – a move eventually granted by the Biden Administration in early 2021.
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