The fraudulent voting exercise that took place in Venezuela on May 20, 2018 did not reflect true democratic principles and practices. Open, transparent, democratic, citizen-responsive governance is crucial to long-term development and prosperity, and this so-called “election” pulls the Venezuelan people further from that goal. The Maduro regime barred opposition parties and leaders from running, stifled the free press, jailed those who spoke out against the regime’s policies, used food as a weapon to gain the votes of the hungry and desperate, and employed the corrupt National Electoral Council to once again manipulate and intimidate the people of Venezuela.
The policies of the Maduro regime have led to malnutrition and a severe health crisis, produced countless human-rights violations, and caused a flow of displaced people that is affecting our entire region. This crisis is entirely man-made, caused by the venality and incompetence of Maduro and his despotic regime through their gross economic mismanagement and widespread corruption.
On behalf of USAID, I express solidarity with the people of Venezuela, who deserve a government that represents their interests, and is responsive to their needs.