NASHVILLE -- Just back from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., says the country has "great unrealized potential" but remains on a 'destructive path'
During his two-day trip, Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with members of the opposition party, families of political prisoners, business leaders and some government officials.
"Venezuela is a country with great unrealized potential and abundant resources," said Corker said in a statement.
"However," the Chattanooga lawmaker added, "it is very sad to see that the country's flawed economic policies and political system have put Venezuela on such a destructive path."
While Venezuela's "vast oil reserves might paper over some of these problems, until the government and leaders on all sides can find a way to take a far different approach that fully embraces free markets, disciplined monetary policy, respect for human rights and rule of law, fair elections and ridding the country of rampant corruption, Venezuela is heading to some very difficult times that will lead to even more suffering for their people who deserve far better."
The senator said the months leading up to the South American nation's Dec. 6 elections "will show the world whether Venezuela is willing to take even modest steps toward this end."