U.S. Vice President Joe Biden: Venezuelan Government Continues to Commit Serious Human Rights Violations

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden claimed Wednesday that the Venezuelan government continues to commit serious human rights violations, including "intimidation and silencing" the right-wing opposition.

Speaking at a conference at the University of Tampa in Florida, Biden also said he was "profoundly worried" about the economic situation in the South American country.Over the past few years, the Socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro has struggled with what the government says is an “economic war” led by the right-wing opposition and its corporate allies.

But Biden wasn't all critical, praising the composition of Venezuela's new National Assembly, dominated by the opposition MUD coalition of right-wing parties.

"It represents the diversity of the political vision of the country," said Biden. He also condemned the imprisonment of politicians like Leopoldo Lopez convicted of inciting violence in 2014 which killed 43 people, calling them “political prisoners."

Biden has a long history of intervening in Latin America's affairs. As a senator, he was a strong advocate for militarizing the war on drugs, from Plan Colombia to the Merida Initiative in Mexico, programs that created an epidemic of violence and led to a wave of mass migration.

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