WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement regarding recent developments in Venezuela.

“In recent days, I have become increasingly concerned by a series of troubling developments in Venezuela. From the continued imprisonment and human rights violations committed against political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez to the detention of Caracas Metropolitan Mayor Antonio Ledezma to the absurd allegations of coup plotting aimed at the United States, it is clearer than ever that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro continues to look for any excuse to blame his country's woes on others rather than look for real, practical solutions to these problems.

“Disrespecting the human rights of Venezuela's citizens and failing to abide by the spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter will not solve Venezuela's political and economic crisis. I call on President Maduro to respect the human rights of each and every Venezuelan and to create a mechanism for peaceful dialogue with the country's opposition. And, I urge leaders from all Organization of American States member states to join in calling for an end to the Maduro government's abuses and unfounded allegations."