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Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul and U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement ahead of Sunday’s sham elections in Venezuela:

“Let there be no mistake – Sunday’s regional and municipal elections in Venezuela are nothing more than a sham. The illegitimate Maduro regime has taken drastic measures to dismantle or control every independent institution in the country, including hijacking political parties and the National Electoral Council to ensure state-sponsored electoral fraud.

“The European Union’s election observation mission only lends credibility to the corrupt Maduro regime, and we are dismayed the Biden Administration is also sending a technical mission to observe the election. These actions divide democratic forces to the benefit of the regime and malign actors, such as Cuba and Russia.

“We condemn any effort to legitimize these elections and continue to support the right of Venezuelans to restore democratic governance. After nearly a year of inaction, President Biden should impose a fresh round of targeted sanctions on those facilitating this farce. He should also clearly reaffirm the United States’ support for the interim government led by Interim President Juan Guaido. Like-minded partners should increase pressure against the regime in order to end its totalitarian rule that has displaced more than five and a half million Venezuelans, and caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”