Republican congressmen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo called on the US government today. to investigate the death of the Venezuelan opponent Fernando Albán to find out if he was "murdered" and to pay the same attention to this case as that of the disappeared Saudi journalist Jamal Khasoggi.
At a press conference with Ros-Lehtinen in Kendall (Miami-Dade) Curbelo said that the same "concern and strength" should be shown in condemning the disappearance of Khasoggi that the death of Albán, who was imprisoned in the headquarters of the Service of Intelligence (Sebin) in Caracas when it occurred.
"Venezuelans are as important (as the Saudis) and the truth is that they have suffered as much as other peoples in the Middle East and other areas of the world," he added, noting that the Saudi Arabian authorities must be "accountable" for the disappearance of the journalist, happened in Istanbul two weeks ago.
In the case of Albán, the official version of the facts is that the opposition councilor committed suicide by throwing himself into the void from a tenth floor when he went to the bathroom, but it is "highly unlikely" that it is true and can be assumed, with a high degree of "Certainty", that was "assassinated", said Curbelo.
The congressman demanded a full investigation by the State Department to clarify how Albán lost his life and "more sanctions and pressure on the Venezuelan regime."
"Anything to make life more difficult for tyrants, that is our mission," said Ros-Lehtinen.
In the opinion of the legislator, who is seeking re-election by the 26th district of Miami in the elections on November 6, the United States Government should have "all the options on the table" when dealing with a government like the Venezuelan.
Sanctions with "more fangs" are those that affect the economy, Curbelo said when asked about whether the US may end up suspending purchases of Venezuelan oil.
Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring from Congress in the upcoming elections, said, like Curbelo, that the US it must not tolerate human rights violations anywhere in the world, and even less so when they occur in "our hemisphere, in our neighborhood."
He mentioned not only Venezuela but also Cuba and Nicaragua.
Curbelo said in response to another question that he would not recommend to President Donald Trump to accept a meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and stressed that "dictators" only seek those meetings when they are "weak."
Another Republican congressman from Florida, Mario Díaz-Balart, of Cuban origin such as Curbelo and Ros-Lehtinen, supports the proposals made by the latter two at the press conference, but could not attend because he was "sick", according to the congresswoman.
The three wrote a letter on Monday to President Trump, also signed by New Jersey Democratic congressman Albio Sires, asking him to order a full investigation into Albán's death.