Rubio: State Department Should Be 'Outraged' Over Venezuela

Image: Rubio: State Department Should Be 'Outraged' Over Venezuela

Tuesday, 25 Feb 2014 07:25 PM

By Greg Richter

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The U.S. State Department says it is "concerned" about the political situation in Venezuela, but it should be "outraged," says Sen. Marco Rubio.

Appearing Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer," the Florida Republican said Venezuela should be getting the same attention as popular uprisings in Egypt or Ukraine.

"There's no indication the administration is even thinking too much about Venezuela right now, and that's unfortunate," Rubio said.

Ongoing protests in the capital, Caracas, have caused at least 13 deaths.

Rubio told Blitzer the United States now has documented instances of human-rights abuses by some people in the Venezuelan government. He suggested sanctions against those involved, though he did not name them. He also suggested sanctions against the government as a whole, including a moratorium on private investment.

Many Venezuelan officials have assets in the United States, as does the government, and those should be closed down, he said.

Rubio criticized the Obama administration's handling of foreign crises in general.

"They largely view these things as challenges to be managed rather than causes to be advanced," he said. "And so, the interest of the administration seems to be stability at all costs as opposed to furthering our national interests in some of these issues."

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