WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“If any doubts remained that Venezuela is no longer a democracy, yesterday’s development should put them to rest.  The Venezuelan Supreme Court announced that it will assume the powers of the country’s National Assembly.  For years, the world has watched with great concern as Venezuela’s democracy has eroded.  With congress’s authority stripped, little separates Venezuela from a full-blown dictatorship.

“Just this week, 20 Organization of American States (OAS) member states voted to discuss Venezuela’s political and economic crisis at the OAS’s Permanent Council.  I commend these countries and their leaders for doing the right thing.  I hope the silver lining of the latest events will be a recognition by all countries in the hemisphere that a challenge to democracy in Venezuela is a challenge to all of us.  It is time for all OAS member states to redouble their commitment to the values enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter.”