By KEVIN DERBY
With the Trump administration putting additional sanctions on the Maduro regime, the Florida congressional delegation offered strong support.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order imposing sanctions on all U.S.-based assets of Nicolás Maduro’s regime and giving the U.S. Treasury Department the authority to sanction any individual or entity who supports the Maduro regime.
“Treasury is committed to ensuring the unfettered flow of humanitarian aid to the people of Venezuela, who continue to suffer as a result of the mismanagement and corruption of the illegitimate former Maduro regime. It is imperative that the international community continues to fully utilize humanitarian exemptions to ensure that food and supplies continue to flow to Venezuelans suffering from Maduro’s man-made economic crisis,” said Sigal Mandelker, the U.S. Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “The United States stands with the Venezuelan people and interim President Juan Guaidó in support of efforts to ensure that food, international aid, and resources reach vulnerable Venezuelans. Treasury regulations have and will continue to allow for unimpeded humanitarian support to the Venezuelan people, and we encourage U.S. persons to employ these authorizations to engage with those in need.”
These additional sanctions drew the applause of members of the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill.
Marco Rubio“Under the leadership of President Trump, the United States continues to stand with the people of Venezuela in their fight to restore democratic order and the rule of law,” said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Tuesday. “Yesterday’s executive order is yet another step to exert maximum pressure on the Maduro regime by restricting its access to the global financial system. America was the first country to recognize Interim President Juan Guaidó and we reiterate our unwavering support to the democratically elected National Assembly. Any country or individual doing business with the Maduro crime family will face sanctions as they are perpetuating the agony of the Venezuelan people.”
Rick Scott“I’m proud the United States is taking a strong stand against Nicolas Maduro’s genocide,” said U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. “I’ve been calling for the administration to use every option available – including an embargo – to end Maduro’s brutal regime, and I applaud the president and national security adviser John Bolton for taking action. Now the countries that continue to prop up Maduro, including Cuba, Russia and China, will face economic consequences for their support. This is an important day in the fight for freedom for the people of Venezuela and signals to Maduro and his supporters in Cuba, Russia and China that the United States will not tolerate genocide.”
Mario Diaz-Balart“I commend POTUS and his administration for imposing another round of increasingly tough sanctions against the Maduro regime,” said U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. “These new sanctions freeze Maduro-controlled assets in the United States and prevent transactions with those Venezuelans whose assets have been blocked. These sanctions are crucial to preventing other businesses and foreign counties from propping up the Maduro dictatorship and his cronies with hard currency. Countries such as Communist China, Cuba, and Russia have kept the illegitimate Maduro in power, and these sanctions will make providing sustenance to the brutal, oppressive Maduro regime much more difficult.
“Today’s sanctions are another step toward achieving freedom and restoring democracy and prosperity for the Venezuelan people while protecting the national security interests of the United States. I will continue working with my colleagues and the administration until the Venezuelan people are finally rid of the malignancy that has oppressed them and destabilized the region for far too long,” Diaz-Balart added.
Debbie Wasserman SchultzOn the other side of the aisle, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said she backed the sanctions but took aim at the GOP for the Senate’s failure to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans who fled the Maduro regime.
“I agree with the Administration on this latest effort to crack down on the Maduro regime, which has been welcomed by Juan Guaidó, the legitimate president of Venezuela,” she said. “However, President Trump and the Republican Senate continue to fail the Venezuelan people by refusing to act on Temporary Protected Status. Granting TPS should have been coupled with this tightening of economic sanctions because it is unreasonable and inhumane to expect Venezuelans to return to their country when it is too dangerous and conditions have not improved.
“I’m tired of Republicans treating Venezuelans like human political opportunities instead of respected members of our communities and country. We can be tough on the Maduro regime while also giving Venezuelans in the U.S. who have fled hunger and repression certainty about their legal status. It is disingenuous to advance economic sanctions without providing protections for the Venezuelans who have fled here because of the conditions necessitating those sanctions,” Wasserman Schultz added.