DNC emails released by Wikileaks reveal that Debbie Wasserman Schultz approved sponsorship of the opposition in Venezuela.
Before resigning as the Democratic Party leader, Schultz, who was also U.S. Congresswoman for Florida, supported sanctions against the Venezuelan government in an effort to gain support from members of the opposition in her home state.
Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez, among other senators, co-sponsored the bill which sought to impose sanctions against the elected government of Nicolas Maduro.
Wasserman Schultz along with representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Curbelo, Albio Sires, and Ted Deutch introduced a bill to extend the authority of U.S. President Barack Obama to sanction Maduro government officials for up to three years for alleged human rights violations.
Geoff Burgan, press secretary of Wasserman Schultz, told representatives she needed to be accepted by the Venezuelan opposition in Florida and recognized as a promoter of the bill, according to the emails.
“We won’t be doing any full statement on it—just quietly letting friends in the community know. Key priority for us at home with a big Venezuelan constituency in Weston.” said Burgan in an email sent on April 29, 2016.
The same email included a statement by representative Ros-Lehtinen, who attacks the Venezuelan government, and even criticizes President Obama for “not doing enough.”
“The Obama administration has only sanctioned a mere few since the original legislation was passed and the White House can and must do better,” said Ros-Lehtinen.
WikiLeaks hacked and released 20,000 DNC-related emails from top Democratic officials during the Democratic National Convention, where Hillary Clinton was officially named the party’s presidential nominee. This scandal prompted Wasserman Schultz, at the time the organization’s chairwoman, to step down from her position.