Marco Rubio Wants Maduro Regime Designated as State Sponsor of Terrorism

Maduro Regime sponsor terrorism says Sen. Rubio


From his perch on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. is calling on the U.S. State Department to designate the Maduro regime in charge of Venezuela as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

“Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act,” the State Department defines State Sponsors of Terrorism. “Taken together, the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. Designation under the above-referenced authorities also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors.”

At the end of last week, Rubio joined U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Col., in sending a letter to U.S. Sec. of State Mike Pompeo urging him to include the Maduro regime on the list, pointing to its support of terrorist groups in the region and across the globe.

“We respectfully write to request your support for designating the Maduro regime in Venezuela as a State Sponsor of Terrorism,” the senators wrote. In its most recent Country Reports on Terrorism, the State Department noted its 11th-annual consecutive determination that “Venezuela was not cooperating fully with U.S. counterterrorism efforts,” and cited credible reports that Maduro’s illegitimate dictatorship “allowed for support of activities that benefited known terrorist groups.” The State Department’s report elaborated on the nexus among Venezuela and various U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs): ‘Individuals linked to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army, and Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) were present in Venezuela, as well as Hezbollah supporters and sympathizers.’

“Moreover, the Treasury Department found, under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, that the Maduro regime in Venezuela has taken no action against senior Venezuelan government officials who are under U.S. sanctions for assisting the narcotics-trafficking activities of the FARC terrorist group, which for more than fifty years has waged a guerilla war against the Colombian people and fueled its terrorist activities by trafficking weapons and drugs,” the senators continued.

“It comes as no surprise that the Maduro dictatorship aided and abetted terrorists,” the senators added. “After years of cooperating with FARC, ELN, and other narcotrafficking terrorists, Venezuela has now become a ‘narco-state.’ In fact, Tareck al-Aissami, 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. The crisis in Venezuela is dire and worsening every day. The United States must use all available tools to protect the American homeland and our people from the Venezuelan dictatorship’s egregious support for terrorism and narcotrafficking in Venezuela. We strongly believe that the Maduro regime in Venezuela meets the criteria necessary to designate the current Venezuelan government as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

Currently, the State Department has Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria listed as state sponsors of terror. Cuba, Iraq, Libya and South Yemen had been on the list but have been removed.