Democrats to Governor: Divest Florida from Russian assets now
Charlie Crist takes his cue from Ron DeSantis on School Board races.

Crist DeSantis
Gov. DeSantis has not heeded multiple calls to pull Florida money from Russian assets.

Citing both Russia’s war in Ukraine and Russia’s support for regimes in Venezuela and Cuba, Florida’s Democratic members of Congress repeated calls Friday for Gov. Ron DeSantis to pull Florida’s investments out of Russian assets.

“Now is the time for Florida to take decisive action and respond to Russia’s unprovoked attacks on the people of Ukraine,” the letter reads. The letter was led by St. Petersburg Rep. Charlie Crist, who’s running against DeSantis in the 2024 gubernatorial election, and Weston Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

A month into the war, DeSantis has not responded to prior pleas, including from Crist, Agriculture Commissioner and fellow gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, and other Democrats to divest Florida from Russian assets. The Governor has kept the Russian war on Ukraine at arms length. His staff has argued that there is little reason for a Florida Governor to get involved in foreign affairs that do not affect Florida.

Some Republicans, including Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, have also called for strong responses to Russia. That includes Scott’s own call for divestiture.

The Democrats’ latest letter characterizes DeSantis’ ongoing inaction as “refusing to divest from Russian-owned assets and companies.”

DeSantis’ office said the question is being reviewed by the State Board of Administration (SBA).

“All we have said on this specific issue (divestment) is that the SBA is reviewing the matter. This is still the case,” the Governor’s Office said Friday.

The letter — also signed by Reps. Kathy Castor, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Val Demings, Ted DeutchLois FrankelAl LawsonStephanie Murphy, Darren Soto and Frederica Wilson — comes as Ukrainian officials report Friday that a Russian bombing on a theater killed 300 civilians last week.

“We write today to request that you immediately divest Florida from Russian-owned assets and companies. As the Ukrainian people fight for their freedom against Russia’s heinous, unprovoked invasion, you must prevent our state from providing resources to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and the Russian armed forces,” the letter pleads.

In February, SBA communications director Dennis MacKee offered a statement that said: “Of our $195 billion in assets, we currently hold approximately $300 million in Russian-domiciled investments.”

The Democrats’ letter noted the $300 million figure, saying the latest disclosure shows the money invested in Russian-owned and Russian headquartered assets and companies by the Florida Retirement System. The investments are in such companies as Rosneft Oil, Sherbank, Norilsk Nickel, Lukoil and Magnit.

“Floridians, our constituents, are patriotic Americans with deep convictions. Floridians stand up for what is right. It is time for our state’s government to do what is right and sever its ties to Russia,” the Democrats’ letter states.

The Democrats also remind of Putin’s ties to the regimes in Venezuela and Cuba, home countries of millions of Floridians.

“Putin is providing a lifeline of support to the nefarious activities of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and Cuba’s Miguel Díaz-Canel,” the letter notes. “By refusing to divest from Russian-owned assets and companies, Florida is propping up these dictators.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Deborah brice

    March 25, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    VoteDeSantis out

    • Antonio

      March 25, 2022 at 4:27 pm


      • Sherri Dunphy

        March 26, 2022 at 10:34 pm

        DeSantis is by far one of he best Governors Florida ever had. I feel we are lucky to have him represent us! He sees through all the left nonsense and stands up to them.

      • Cybempire

        March 29, 2022 at 12:46 pm


    • Patricia Ryan

      March 26, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      You have NO IDEA BECAUSE YOU ARE BEING LIED TO BY THE FAKE MSM. Governor DeSantis has been the Best Governor in the history of Florida. I should know since I was born here in 1945.

  • Ocean Joe

    March 26, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Considering how Desantis went ballistic after Ben and Jerry’s stopped selling ice cream on the West Bank and in ‘settlements’
    seems like divesting from Russian companies would be a no brainer.

  • Wanda

    March 26, 2022 at 9:43 am

    DeathDesantis is a Trump cult member he is a good pal of Putin and In Donald Duck trump cult he’s trying to kill all of us with Covid,he loves Russia what makes you think he’s going to help the Ukraine hell he help plan the attack with Putin andTrump his ass is a trader facts

    • MF

      March 28, 2022 at 7:29 am

      How is anyone supposed to take your childish babble seriously? Grow up. Move to Cali or NY.

Comments are closed.


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