A harsh critic of South American socialism in the House says she’s proud to be spied upon by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
El Nuevo Herald reported Sunday that Maduro uses a network of “patriots” to the Bolivarian Revolution on U.S. soil to peer into the activities of NGOs and lawmakers unfriendly to the regime.
The paper singled out Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).
Ros-Lehtinen, the former chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and current head of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, responded to the report in a statement noting she’s proud to be spied upon by Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor.
“I’m greatly honored that this despotic regime that imprisons innocent opposition leaders, denies basic human rights to all and kills students peacefully demonstrating in the streets would find me to be a thorn in its side. Being a target of an autocratic regime, whether it is the Castro brothers or Nicolas Maduro, is a badge of honor,” the congresswoman said.
“The Venezuelan people endure continual violations of their human rights, suffer from a spiraling economy, and live with constant violence sanctioned by the Venezuelan regime.”
Ros-Lehtinen called this “latest episode by the Venezuelan regime” just “another reaffirmation that the puppeteers in Cuba continue to influence Maduro to adopt a system that denies fundamental freedoms to its people and attacks those who seek justice and liberty.”
“Maduro’s comrades-in-arms, the Castro brothers, have labeled me as La Loba Feroz (The Ferocious She-Wolf) so I’m honored that another thug would target me for trying to be a voice for the Venezuelan people who are currently suffering under this brutal regime, but I will not be deterred and will continue to push for sanctions for human rights violators in Venezuela.”
The report states that the Chavista network of paid spies fell apart after the U.S. kicked out several Bolivarian Intelligence Service officials operating from diplomatic facilities.