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Senate Passes Bolivar Act: What Does It Mean for Maduro’s Dictatorship?

Investigación contra dictadura de Venezuela en la CPI: ¿qué impide su avance?, EFE

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The U.S. Senate has no good news for dictator Nicolás Maduro. Recently, it was approved the so-called Bolivar Act, which directly targets the Venezuelan regime by prohibiting the U.S. Government from contracting companies that do business with the Venezuelan government.

The Banning Operations and Leases with the Illegitimate Venezuelan Authoritarian Regime (BOLIVAR) Act, summarized as the Bolivar Act, already had the House of Representatives’ support and was passed unanimously in the Upper House. The bill was authored by Rick Scott (R-FL) and co-sponsored by Marco Rubio (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

“We all know what Nicolás Maduro is doing in Venezuela. He’s starving his own citizens. He’s imprisoning his political enemies. He’s providing a foothold to Russia, Iran, Communist China and Hezbollah and is actively destabilizing our hemisphere. There is no reason the U.S. government should be working with companies that also work with such a gross dictator. I’m incredibly proud that the Senate voted to hold Maduro accountable for his abuses by unanimously passing my BOLIVAR Act,” Scott celebrated through a statement.

The legislation “provides for necessary exceptions, including for rendering humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and when the Office of Foreign Assets Control issues a valid license to do business in Venezuela” and “allows the Secretary of State to waive the restriction when in the national interest of the U.S.”

Scott
Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the Bolivar Act in the Senate, which passed unanimously (EFE).

This prohibition would only apply to contracts entered into after the enactment and would not affect any business dealings with the legitimate government of the National Assembly and its elected successors.

Maduro on the Bolivar Act: “A serious offense to the Venezuelan people”

The news did not go down well in Caracas. Maduro was quick to repudiate the legislation, calling it “an unfortunate bill that, both in its name and in its content”, that “constitutes a violation of economic freedoms and a serious offense to the Venezuelan people.”

Carlos Faría, Foreign Minister of the regime, said that American authorities are putting companies “at risk of being arbitrarily, unjustly and illegally sanctioned for exercising their right to free trade under contracts with the Bolivarian Government” through a measure that shows “the fury of the ultra-conservatives and pro-coup sectors in U.S. politics, relentless in their attempt to overthrow the Venezuelan Government and dynamite any possible avenue for dialogue and constructive relations between the two countries.”

Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.

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