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Sen. Cruz: It Is Only Right El Chapo's Ill-Gotten Gains Go to Securing the Border and Stopping the Next Narco Traffickers

Discusses EL CHAPO Act, crisis in Venezuela with Fox News’ Shannon Bream

February 14, 2019

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations appeared on ‘Fox News @ Night’ with Shannon Bream where he discussed his EL CHAPO Act and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. 

When asked about the El CHAPO Act, Sen. Cruz described the bill as just, saying, “It is only right that those ill-gotten gains go to fixing the problems and stopping the next Narco traffickers.” 

“We need to vote on it,” Sen. Cruz said. “A number of months ago when we were starting to really vigorously debate the border wall and Democrats were going on and on saying that it was too expensive, that they didn't want to spend money on it. […] I happened to be reading at the time that the estimates to build a robust wall at the time were between 14 and $20 billion. At the same time, I read that the Department of Justice estimates of the global worth of El Chapo's criminal network worldwide were roughly $14 billion. There is a natural and elegant symmetry that suggested itself. So I filed the EL CHAPO Act, which says all money criminally forfeited from El Chapo and from any other drug lord shall be used for border security and to build the wall. And that means we can do this without spending even a penny of taxpayer money, but not only that: there is a justice to it. Those billions that El Chapo has were made trafficking illegally across the U.S. border, bringing narcotics across the border. And it is only right that those ill-gotten gains go to fixing the problems and stopping the next Narco traffickers.”

Bream also asked about the United States’ response to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

“Nicolas Maduro, and Hugo Chavez before him, are enemies of America,” Sen. Cruz said. “They oppress their people. Maduro is illegitimate. He is seizing power - you want to talk about a coup? Maduro is using military force to stay in office and he is not the legitimately elected leader of Venezuela. Juan Guaidó is instead. And so the president is quite right, as have most of the nations in the community of civilized nations have recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimately elected leader of Venezuela. And the leftists in the Democratic party need to stop siding with the communists against the United States of America. That's not good for our country.”

Sen. Cruz continued, noting every military leader in Venezuela has a choice to make: cling to a dictator and oppressor as he falls, or stand with the nation, constitution, and people of Venezuela. 

“The rule of law matters,” Sen. Cruz said. “Right now, do you know how many generals there are in Venezuela? There are over 3,000 generals. It's an incredible - they are largely disparate and right now the big question is where are the generals going to line up? And what I’ve publicly called on the generals to do is say look, you are facing a choice: do you stand with Maduro? The tyrant who is on his way out, who is losing power? Or do you stand with the people of Venezuela? Do you stand with the constitution? Do you stand with the legitimately elected leadership? One of the things that President Guaidó’s government has promised to do is to hold free and fair elections so let the people of Venezuela have a choice. But the choice shouldn't be a leftist communist strongman who is murdering the people, who is torturing the people, who is oppressing the people. And by the way, for all those Democrats who are big fans of socialism, well, you can see where the Green New Deal ends up. It ends up in Venezuela - once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America, and now people literally starving in the streets.”

Watch Sen. Cruz’s full interview here.

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