Padilla Issues Bipartisan Joint Statement on the Maduro Regime’s Wrongful Detainments, Harassment of Democratic Opposition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) issued the following joint, bipartisan statement condemning the Maduro regime for reneging on their commitment to release wrongfully detained U.S. citizens, including Eyvin Hernandez, for arresting democratic opposition leader Roberto Abdul, and for issuing arrest warrants against other senior members of Venezuela’s democratic opposition:

“We are extremely concerned over recent arrest warrants issued by the Maduro regime against members of María Corina Machado’s political party and coalition. This brazen act is a clear violation of the spirit of the Barbados Agreement and another indication that the Maduro regime is not following through on its commitment to free and fair elections in 2024. Additionally, the blatant refusal to release political prisoners or American hostages, the continued arrest warrants against other key opposition leaders, and the petulant saber rattling against Guyana show that the Maduro regime, far from taking steps towards the meaningful return of democracy, is moving towards an even more brutal dictatorship. The U.S. and our democratic partners should respond accordingly using all diplomatic tools, including imposing select sanctions.”

Senator Padilla has fought relentlessly for the immediate release of Eyvin Hernandez, an American citizen who has been wrongfully detained in Venezuela since March 31, 2022. Earlier this year, Padilla and the late Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a resolution calling for his prompt release. In October, he met with senior members of President Biden’s National Security Council to discuss the recent U.S.-Venezuela sanctions deal and to continue his push for Eyvin’s release. Padilla also sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to do everything within the Department of State’s power to secure Eyvin’s release, including issuing the wrongfully detained determination so that his case could be referred to the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA).


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