Washington—House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the situation in Venezuela in advance of Wednesday’s testimony before the Foreign Affairs Committee by U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams:

“We are outraged that Nicolás Maduro continues to block the entry of food and medical supplies into Venezuela. Through authoritarianism, corruption, and incompetence, Nicolás Maduro and his kleptocratic regime have created a massive humanitarian crisis both inside Venezuela and throughout the Americas. Now, Mr. Maduro has chosen to further starve his own people. We urge Maduro to immediately allow humanitarian aid to reach the Venezuelan people. Congress is closely watching events in Venezuela and will swiftly act to continue to support the Venezuelan people.

“Free and fair elections are urgently needed in Venezuela. We support the National Assembly of Venezuela—the country's only remaining legitimate institution—in recognizing Juan Guaidó as the Interim President until such elections can be called. It is essential for these elections to be observed by credible international electoral observers, including the Organization of American States, to allow for a peaceful democratic transition. Finally, we believe that the European Union-Latin America Contact Group can play a potentially crucial role in advancing the conditions for elections.”

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