Durbin Receives Update From Venezuelan President Juan Guaido

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke to interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó about the ongoing violence, deteriorating security situation, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela caused by the discredited regime of Nicolás Maduro.  During today’s call, Durbin reiterated his support for Guaidó and his constitutional role to help Venezuela return to the community of democracies, and to do so with a thoughtful and timely transition and credible election process in which the Venezuelan people can once again choose their leaders through a fair and transparent process.

“Interim President Guaidó has shown immense bravery and love of country as he has worked for Venezuela to rejoin the community of democracies.  He knows how much the Venezuelan people have suffered, and how the Maduro regime bankrupted the nation’s economy and democracy,” Durbin said.  “I told him that we stand ready to help the Venezuelan people rebuild and help the millions of Venezuelan refugees safely return to a more democratic and prosperous home.” 

In March, Durbin led 24 Senators in a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that his Administration promptly designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to ensure that Venezuelan nationals currently present in the United States are not forced to return to Venezuela at this time.  Durbin also raised the issue with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently during a Senate Appropriations hearing.  

“That President Trump continues to turn his back on Venezuelans in the United States by denying Temporary Protected Status is a disgrace,” reiterated Durbin today.  “We cannot warn American travelers that it is unsafe to travel to Venezuela and then force Venezuelans currently in the U.S. to return.”

In February, Durbin, and Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019, a bill to immediately grant TPS for eligible Venezuelans fleeing the dire conditions in their home country and to strengthen migration systems in the countries surrounding Venezuela.  The bill recently passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  

 Last year, Durbin traveled to Venezuela where he met with then-President Nicolas Maduro, members of the opposition included Juan Guaidó, the President of the National Assembly, the Ministers of Health and Nutrition, business leaders, civil society groups, doctors, and humanitarian organizations.  He has also previously spoken with Guaidó by phone to offer his support for his transitional government.