U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is again urging a D.C. firm to cease its representation of the Nicolás Maduro government.
Scott berated Amsterdam & Partners LLP late last week for taking on the controversial contract in which the firm will push back against U.S. sanctions on Maduro. Now, Scott is following up with a letter directly to the firm.
“This is shocking news considering the absolute genocide Maduro is perpetrating on his citizens. He is a thug and a dictator who is murdering children and starving his people,” Scott said, before recounting his visits to the Venezuela border.
“I’ve seen the starvation, the hunger, the pain. Children are starving to death — children the age of my grandsons. These same children were walking for hours each way to go to school in Cúcuta just across the border. Mothers and their young children trudged through dense forests and across rivers to get their only meal of the day. Men, women, and children are dying, and it’s all at the hands of Nicolas Maduro — the socialist dictator whose government you have agreed to represent.”
Scott added, “No business in the United States should have any contact with Maduro’s government, let alone willingly take money to lobby on its behalf.”
The contract was originally handled by the law firm Foley & Lardner and tasked the firm to work on behalf of Venezuelan Attorney General Reinaldo Muñoz Pedroza.
Muñoz Pedroza was appointed Attorney General by Maduro, though the United States no longer recognizes Maduro’s government as legitimate. He has has been dispatched by Maduro in the past to intervene in U.S. court cases to recover disputed funds for the Maduro government.
But after outcry — including from Scott himself — Foley & Lardner dropped the contract. Now, Scott is urging Amsterdam & Partners to do the same.
“As Governor and now as U.S. Senator, I’ve been committed to fighting for freedom and democracy around the globe. The United States has taken strong action to try to force Maduro aside, but more must be done to bring freedom to the people of Venezuela,” Scott’s letter continues
“As long as you represent a dangerous dictator who is murdering his own people, I will refuse to meet with anyone in your firm, or anyone that contracts on this matter with your firm, regardless of the many clients you represent. And I am urging every one of my colleagues to join me.”
Robert Amsterdam — of the Amsterdam & Partners firm — has pushed back against Scott’s critiques dating back to last week.
Scott has backed President Donald Trump‘s administration’s push to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s rightful leader. Nearly 60 countries have done the same, though so far Maduro has not relinquished his grip on power.