United State senators Marco Rubio, John Cornyn and Cory Gardner have formally requested that the State Department designate the Maduro regime as a state sponsor of terrorism. The request came via a letter signed by the three senators and directed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In the letter, the senators cite the Maduro regime’s alleged connections to Colombia guerrilla groups–namely the FARC and the ELN–as the basis for their request. The letter is dated September 26 of this year.
Part of the letter was shared on Twitter by the Voice of America’s Spanish account, Voz de America. The letter partially reads:
It comes as no surprise that the Maduro dictatorship aided and abetted terrorists. After years of cooperating with FARC, ELN, and other narcotrafficking terrorists, Venezuela has now become a “narco-state”. In fact, Tarek al-Aissami [sic], who served as Venezuela’s vice president until June 14, 2018, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department as “a Specially Designated Narcotics Trafficker”, and two of Maduro’s nephews are currently serving 18 years in a U.S. prison for conspiring to import cocaine into the United States.
There are currently four countries on the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list: North Korea, Iran, Sudan, and Syria.
ICC Accepts States’ Venezuela Referral
The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced today that it has accepted a referral from six member nations requesting that it launch an investigation into human rights abuses in the country.
The statement came via the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor, which had already launched an investigation into the same matter in February of this year.
According to the ICC’s internal rules, any member state can request that another member state be investigated over the commission of crimes against humanity. This process is outlined in article 14 of the
Statute of the International Criminal Court, and has never been used before. The ICC statement reads:
… [this is] the first referral submitted by a group of States Parties concerning a situation on the territory of another State Party.
The acceptance of this referral means that the ICC is now undertaking two separate preliminary investigations into human rights abuses in Venezuela under the Maduro regime.
At the end of the preliminary examinations, the ICC prosecutor would decide whether the evidence collected suggests that Maduro regime officials have in fact committed crimes against humanity, and if so, launch a formal investigation.
Maduro Calls UN Speech “Total Victory”
Maduro shared a video on his Twitter account this afternoon while on his way back to Venezuela from the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations.
In the video, Maduro called his intervention in the event “a total victory”, and that he had succeeded in telling the world “the truth” about Venezuela.
Below, the video along with my translation:
Maduro: We’re going to the airport now. Heading back from having participated in the 73rd meeting of the United Nations [sic]. Total victory. Venezuela’s truth has been heard. It’s here. It’s here. For what? To consolidate the right to peace that we have, to a sovereign life, to happy life. Let’s keep moving forward in peace. It’s that simple.
Victory at the U.N. Total victory.
In a largely unremarkable speech on given on Wednesday, Maduro reiterated some of the more common rhetorical pillars of his regime, including the assertion that he is the victim of an international conspiracy, and that the country’s crisis has been manufactured by the media.
Maduro’s speech was delivered to an anemic audience, as a majority of the UN’s members had left the General Assembly chambers prior to its start.
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