The United States should condemn Venezuela’s government for violently suppressing protests and it should slap individual sanctions on mid- and top-level officials associated with the regime in Caracas, according to a U.S. Senate resolution detailed Thursday by Florida’s Marco Rubio.
Rubio also accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — a Democrat whom the Republican might run against for president in 2016 — of espousing a “muddled position” on Venezuelan democracy during a speech she gave Wednesday night at the University of Miami, Rubio’s law school alma mater and near his family home.
Rubio’s criticisms of Clinton, though, were secondary to the resolution he’s sponsoring with New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, on which Rubio sits.
Rubio said the proposal resembles the intent of what’s known as the 2012 “Magnitsky Act,” which targeted Russian officials complicit in a human-rights violation case.
“You can take away their travel visa, which for some of them would be devastating,” Rubio said.
“What a lot of these people are doing is they’re stealing money in Venezuela, because of their governmental power or are unfairly getting access to it. And then they come to Miami with their families on the weekends,” he said. “They go to Disney World and Universal Studios. They have apartments and money and cash and bank accounts. They parade through the streets of Miami. They’re all over the place. And I think that would be a real sanction for a lot of them.”