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house Bill H.R. 920

Prohibiting Arms Sales to Venezuela’s Maduro Regime

Argument in favor

Historically, Venezuelan leaders — starting with Hugo Chavez and continuing with Nicolás Maduro — have relied heavily on the country’s military forces to stay in power. Cutting off arms sales to the Maduro regime’s security forces will weaken it, bolstering the odds of the opposition taking power.

Andrea's Opinion
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Yesterday at 10:11 PM
I didn't support the Saudi government receiving American made weapons. I will NOT support arms going to Venezuela.
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Julie's Opinion
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Today at 1:01 AM
We have a terrible record when it comes to arming other countries and their regimes. Let's sit this one out.
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Angela's Opinion
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Today at 1:07 AM
There is absolutely no reason to sell arms to the Maduro government. Nothing in the refusal to sell arms precludes cooperating with other countries in the region to oust this man.
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Argument opposed

America’s poor track record with intervention in Latin American affairs should give Congress pause when it considers intervening in Venezuela’s affairs. Rather than seeking to unilaterally push Maduro out, the U.S. should cooperate with other Latin American countries to pursue a negotiated settlement.

Christopher 's Opinion
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Yesterday at 11:51 PM
Maybe the U.S. should mind our own business & stay out of other countries affairs. Have we not learned from Vietnam, Korea, etc.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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Yesterday at 2:59 PM
While I appreciate the intent of the bill and the opinions on here I don’t think the USA is in the position to be the moral leader of the world. If this bill was changed to read the USA could not sell military equipment to either side of a country during a civil war or coup attempt I’d support it. But we certainly don’t pretend to be Switzerland because there’s no money in that and we continue to sell arms to dictators all over the world who kill our own people. I mean really, have we quit selling to Saudi Arabia yet?
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Thomas 's Opinion
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Today at 1:37 AM
We need to get our own affairs in order. This is coming from someone with a relative from Caracas. We armed Osama bin Laden and that worked out great?
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedJanuary 30th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 920?

This bill, the Venezuelan Arms Restriction Act, would restrict the transfer of defense articles, defense services, and crime control articles to any element of the Venezuelan security forces under the authority of the Maduro regime. Tear gas and riot gear would be included in this bill. (Arms sales to Venezuela have been blocked since 2006, originally because of its lack of cooperation in counterterrorism efforts.)

Within 180 days of this bill’s enactment, the Dept. of State — and the Dept. of Commerce, if necessary — would be required to submit a report to Congress on foreign citizens involved in the transfer of the aforementioned items and services from the U.S. to the Maduro regime.

Impact

Arms companies; defense companies; Venezuela; Maduro regime; Dept. of State; Dept. of Commerce; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 920

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) introduced this bill to prohibit the export of defense articles and crime control materials from the U.S. to Venezuelan security forces:

"We cannot allow Nicolás Maduro to continue to steamroll democracy and act with impunity. The people of Venezuela have spoken and demanded that Maduro to step down, but their peaceful efforts have led Maduro’s security forces to resort to violence in the streets of Venezuela, as they often have since Maduro took power. Our bill will ensure that crowd control items, like riot gear and tear gas, will not be placed in the hands of Maduro’s cronies and security forces and used against peaceful protestors. I thank my Republican and Democratic colleagues for joining our effort to help bring peace and freedom to Venezuela.”

Rep. Shalala adds that the Trump administration’s crackdown on Maduro’s government has garnered bipartisan support:

"There are always going to be issues on which we agree. And for those of us that have large Venezuelan populations and who care about the future of Latin American democracy, this is an issue on which we can join together."

Original cosponsor Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) adds:

“Maduro and his cronies have built a despotic regime that rules using fear, corruption, oppression, and violence against an unarmed civilian population that seeks to restore democracy and peace to their country. The Venezuelan people have rejected Maduro’s illegitimate reign, and the United States must support their attempts to peacefully rebuild their nation. Russia and Cuba, who have consistently propped up Maduro and enabled his tyrannical abuses have blood on their hands by continually providing support to this autocrat. I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan proposal led by Congresswoman Donna Shalala, which will ensure that no U.S. made articles inadvertently end up in the hands of the Maduro regime to be used against the Venezuelan people.”

However, Rep. Shalala believes most Democrats don’t share Khanna’s and Omar’s views on Venezuela:

"That's their opinion. [They’re] two people. Name 100. I'll name 100 that are supportive of the efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela, who also believe its appropriate for us to protect the Venezuelan people from the security forces."

Some Democrats—most notably Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN)— have expressed concerns about the U.S. meddling in a foreign political dispute and imposing crippling sanctions that could harm a Venezuelan population already grappling with widespread food and medicine shortages. In a tweet on January 23, 2019, after Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second-highest ranking Senate Democrat, released a statement supporting President Trump’s recognition of Guaidó, Rep. Khanna wrote:

“With respect Senator Durbin, the US should not anoint the leader of the opposition in Venezuela during an internal, polarized conflict. Let us support Uruguay, Mexico, & the Vatican's efforts for a negotiated settlement & end sanctions that are making the hyperinflation worse.”

This bill has nine bipartisan cosponsors, including seven Democrats and two Republicans.

In the current session of Congress, other legislation on Venezuela has been introduced to increase humanitarian aid to the country and provide Venezuelans in the U.S. with immigration protections under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.


Of NoteVenezuela is currently undergoing an unprecedented economic, humanitarian, security, and refugee crisis consisting of extreme food and medicine shortages, severe infant and child malnutrition, rampant crime, and government-sponsored repression. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that inflation rates in the country could reach 10,000,000 percent in 2019.

The Trump administration is taking a strong stance against Maduro’s government by recognizing National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim president; issuing broad sanctions against Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), the nation’s largest state-owned oil and natural gas company; and offering $20 million in humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people. In a tweet on January 27, 2019, national security advisor John Bolton said:

"Any violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela's democratic leader, Juan Guiado, or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response.”

In late January 2019, with the international community’s support, Guaidó became the interim president of the country pursuant to Venezuela’s constitution. However, Maduro continues to control aspects of Venezuela’s corrupt security forces, which are aided by implanted Curban foreign intelligence operatives.

However, Latin America is especially sensitive to the idea of U.S. intervention in its affairs, as the American military and intelligence community’s actions have shaped the region’s politics from the Mexican-American War in 1846 onwards. Additionally, Brazil — the Southern Hemisphere’s largest country and one of the first nations to recognize Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president — has taken intervention off the table by saying that it “does not participate in intervention” as part of its foreign policy.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / emarys)

AKA

Venezuela Arms Restriction Act

Official Title

Venezuela Arms Restriction Act, as amended

    We need to stop selling arms to entire world, not just Venezuela. Our arm sales are only further destabilizing the globe.
    Like (16)
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    While I appreciate the intent of the bill and the opinions on here I don’t think the USA is in the position to be the moral leader of the world. If this bill was changed to read the USA could not sell military equipment to either side of a country during a civil war or coup attempt I’d support it. But we certainly don’t pretend to be Switzerland because there’s no money in that and we continue to sell arms to dictators all over the world who kill our own people. I mean really, have we quit selling to Saudi Arabia yet?
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    I didn't support the Saudi government receiving American made weapons. I will NOT support arms going to Venezuela.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    We have a terrible record when it comes to arming other countries and their regimes. Let's sit this one out.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    We shouldn't sell arms to any dictator
    Like (3)
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    Maybe the U.S. should mind our own business & stay out of other countries affairs. Have we not learned from Vietnam, Korea, etc.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    There is absolutely no reason to sell arms to the Maduro government. Nothing in the refusal to sell arms precludes cooperating with other countries in the region to oust this man.
    Like (2)
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    No arms sales to Madurao regime.
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    What treasonous fool would sell arms to an oppressive evil regime like Maduro’s Venezuela??!!
    Like (1)
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    If we continue to supply weapons to Maduro security forces will be responsible for the continued murder if not full on genocide of innocent civilians for simply wanting to have their voices be heard. As Americans, we can not stand for this and must help the people of Venezuela to rid their country of Maduro.
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    Any government who violates human rights of its citizens should not be sold arms but honestly I think it was Marcio Rubio said it best when he said go after the money
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    We need to stop selling arms to countries who torture their own people, this is a no brainer
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    This should be a no-brainer. Maduro's is a criminal regime, tantamount to the worst crime lords anywhere in the world.
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    👍🏻 House Bill H.R. 920 AKA the “Venezuelan Arms Restriction Act” 👍🏻 I’m in extremely strong support omg and recommend the passage of the House Bill H.R. 920 AKA the ‘Venezuelan Arms Restriction Act”, which would restrict the transfer of defense articles, defense services, and crime control articles to any element of the Venezuelan security forces under the authority of the Maduro regime. Tear gas and riot gear would be included in this bill. (Arms sales to Venezuela have been blocked since 2006, originally because of its lack of cooperation in counterterrorism efforts.) Historically, Venezuelan leaders — starting with Hugo Chavez and continuing with Nicolás Maduro — have relied heavily on the country’s military forces to stay in power. Cutting off arms sales to the Maduro regime’s security forces will weaken it, bolstering the odds of the opposition taking power. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻H.R-920👍🏻. 3*24*19..........
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    Both sides are in the wrong in this situation. Giving the Venezuelan regime weapons will not help solve the situation, only further cause harm. We need to help set up diplomatic solutions to this situation.
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    Don’t sell arms to dictators.Evil Democrats love socialism but it never works.
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    If arms sales to Venezuela have been blocked since 2006, why do we need this bill?
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    Been so since 2006 don’t change it now.
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    We need to get our own affairs in order. This is coming from someone with a relative from Caracas. We armed Osama bin Laden and that worked out great?
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    Why would we ever support a dictator that has colluded with Cuba’s Castro regime to bring such poverty and misery to it’s own people? Shame on the US for reestablishing relations with Cuba. Shame on President Obama.
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