U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), ranking member of the subcommittee overseeing the Western Hemisphere, released the following statement on the European Union’s (EU) decision to deploy an election observation mission to Venezuela for the regional and local elections scheduled for November 21:

“We are deeply concerned about the EU’s decision to send a mission to observe the fraudulent regional and local elections planned by the Maduro narco-dictatorship in November. The regime continues to use the same tools and methods to commit egregious human rights abuses as it has since 2014, which UN-appointed investigators have determined to be “crimes against humanity.” It is no secret that the National Electoral Council, which will once again oversee the regime’s sham elections, was created through an illegitimate and manipulated process. By sending an observation mission to Venezuela, the EU is giving international credibility to the corrupt Maduro regime and will only prolong its authoritarian grip on the people of Venezuela.

“All who are genuinely concerned about the freedom and welfare of Venezuelans must stand firm in their support of interim President Guaidó and the National Assembly, both of which were democratically elected in 2015 to resolve Venezuela’s crisis through legitimate, free, and fair presidential and legislative elections.”

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