Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commended House passage of the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act (S. 2142).  The legislation now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.  Earlier this year, the House passed the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act (H.R. 4587), introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), which imposes targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for carrying out or ordering human rights abuses against Venezuelan citizens. 

On the legislation’s passage, Chairman Royce said:  “Under current leadership, the people of Venezuela face violent abuse, serious economic hardship, and no free press.  Venezuelans deserve serious reforms – reforms they fought for peacefully earlier this year.  With the passage of today’s legislation, the U.S. sends a strong message of support for all Venezuelans who yearn for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.”

Note: Earlier this year, the House passed a resolution (H. Res. 488) to support democratic change in Venezuela.  The bipartisan legislation, authored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), supports the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calls for an end to violence.