On Wednesday, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, both of Florida, introduced legislation meant to address the crisis in Venezuela, where the government continues to respond with brutal and sometimes deadly force against anti-government demonstrators who want President Nicolás Maduro to step down.
The bipartisan bill, spearheaded by Rubio and Nelson, would provide $10 million in aid for food and medicine.
Of this fund, $9.5 million would be used by organizations defending human rights and the coordination of an international response led by the State Department as well as other measures to mitigate the ongoing turmoil in Venezuela.
The situation in Venezuela is dire as the death toll continues to rise.
At least 36 people have been killed and hundreds more have been injured since the protests started last month. All this while the country is ill-equipped to treat the casualties due to medical shortages.
“Venezuelan civilians are being harmed and killed by their own government as the dictator Maduro and his thugs use violence to suppress peaceful pro-democracy protests,” Rubio said. “The United States must stand with and support the Venezuelan people as they struggle to defend their rights and restore constitutional mechanisms and bring back democracy in their country.”