State Sen. Annette Taddeo is calling on the White House and Congress to condemn Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and recognize the country’s National Assembly leader as its rightful President.
“As a member of the Florida Legislature, whose district encompasses a large Venezuelan community, I am troubled by the continued oppression of the Venezuelan people and the regime’s carelessness in violating the rule of law,” said Taddeo, a Democrat elected in 2017.
“I urge members of Congress and the White House to intervene and join other countries in calling the Maduro regime an illegitimate government and recognizing the President of the National Assembly as the rightful President of Venezuela.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already declared the Maduro government illegitimate after Maduro took power for his second term. The complaints about his presidency stem from an election held in May which some observers claim was tainted by election violations.
But Taddeo wants other leaders in Washington, D.C. to do the same. President Donald Trump is also reportedly considering recognizing Venezuela’s National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, a leader of the opposition to Maduro, as the country’s President.
“The Maduro regime has doubled-down on its political persecution of opposition leaders and has issued every show of force to silence the legitimacy of the duly-elected General Assembly members,” Taddeo added.
“This comes as the plight of Venezuelans only intensifies with the country lacking basic needs such as food, water and electricity.”
The Miami-Dade lawmaker also called on members of the county’s legislative delegation to join her calls pressuring the federal government to act.
“I respectfully ask that as home to the largest Venezuelan community, our Miami-Delegation join forces in a sign of bipartisanship to ask that the President of the United States and Congress take immediate steps to join the growing number of countries who have declared Nicolas Maduro a brutal dictator who possess a great risk to Venezuelans and no longer recognize him as anything but an illegitimate president.”
Taddeo’s calls will likely reach friendly ears among the South Florida delegation to the U.S. House. U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell have strongly condemned Venezuela’s actions in recent weeks, calling for legislation to sanction his regime and provide humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people.
“We must stand united with the Venezuelan people and reaffirm that the United States cannot recognize Nicolas Maduro as the country’s president,” Taddeo continued.
Rick Scott, a Naples Republican, had long inveighed against Maduro while he was Governor and continues to do so now that he is a U.S. Senator.
“The atrocities we are seeing in Venezuela — from the lack of food and medicine to the denial of basic human rights — are a direct result of Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship,” he said in a statement earlier this week.
“The brazen kidnapping of Juan Guaidó is just another in a long line of anti-Democratic acts by a regime that spits in the face of the will of the people of Venezuela. And there is no doubt that where there is violence, instability and chaos, there are the fingerprints of the Castro regime.”
“I stand with the people of Venezuela and will always fight for freedom and democracy in Latin America,” Scott added. ” … I support President Trump and his administration’s commitment to freedom and democracy in Venezuela.”