US, Argentine legislative leaders call for new commitments on Venezuela humanitarian crisis

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Venezuelan families sheltering in Simon Bolivar public square in Boa Vista’s city centre. With assistance from UNHCR and national authorities, they have voluntary relocated to the Jardim Floresta shelter. UNHCR/Reynesson Damasceno

WASHINGTON, USA — Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday joined with Cornelia Schmidt-Liermann, chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, and Silvia Lospennato, chair of the US Parliamentary Friendship Group, in urging Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra to seek a commitment from all leaders at the Summit of the Americas to open their countries to Venezuelan refugees.

In a letter, the lawmakers also asked President Vizcarra to urge countries to assist efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide protection to these individuals.

The letter stated, “The Summit of the Americas presents a unique opportunity for heads of state from the Western Hemisphere to gather together and attempt to tackle the top challenges facing our nations. We urge you to use this gathering to seek a firm commitment from your counterparts to open their countries to Venezuelan refugees and to assist UNHCR efforts in the region. We stand ready both to support these efforts in the United States and Argentine Congresses and to encourage our partners from legislatures throughout the Western Hemisphere to do the same.”

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