Today, Florida Democrats and Hispanic leaders hosted a press call and demanded Ron DeSantis apologize to the Hispanic community after his latest comments blaming Hispanics for the increase of Coronavirus cases in Florida.
The participants also condemned the recent news about Donald Trump’s openness to meeting with Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and admission of having second thoughts about his recognition of Juan Guaidó as Venezuelan Interim President.
Javier Fernández, State Representative (HD-114):
“This weekend, President Trump continued his troubling pattern of cozying up to dictators when he said he was willing to meet with Venezuelan Socialist Dictator Nicolas Maduro. Plenty of Republicans have spoken out against this policy, but Ana Maria Rodriguez and Ron DeSantis have been silent. Instead, Gov. DeSantis has been spending his time blaming Hispanic essential workers for the spread of COVID-19. It’s time for both of them to stand up to Trump and stand up for vulnerable people in South Florida and Venezuela.”
Natascha Otero-Santiago, Vice President, Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida:
“I’m outraged about these comments from the Governor blaming our community. This is not the first time that this administration has put the blame on the victims of this pandemic to shift away from the blame from themselves, and how their lack of leadership and transparency has brought us here. As a Latina and Puerto Rican, I am angry that DeSantis prefers to attack our community instead of helping. We are asking DeSantis to please release the information showing that Latinos are causing the exponential growth of COVID-19.”
Claudia Mendoza, former president of the DHCF in Palm Beach:
“We are demanding respect and answers from the Governor. Hispanics are part of the community. We live in this country, we pay taxes, our kids go to schools, and we don’t deserve to be insulted.”
Cramer Verde, LULAC Political Director:
“DeSantis’ accusations are a reflection of his own incompetence and stupidity. Our community should not be treated this way and the Governor needs to issue an apology to us and to the essential workers. This is conceivable.”
Ricky Junquera, FL-House Candidate District 118:
“Republican leaders have for months taken every opportunity at a photo op delivering produce to our most vulnerable communities while doing nothing to incorporate our Agriculture Commissioner’s guidance on protecting farmworkers. Now Republicans want to also scapegoat Hispanics because of the Governor and state Republicans’ collective lack of leadership?
“The Governor and Republican leadership go out of their way to vilify Hispanic workers while depending on them to support our communities as essential workers. Hispanic farmworkers deserve access and protection, we are dependent on them in our most vulnerable times.”
Miami Herald: Trump says he’d meet with Maduro to discuss ‘a peaceful exit from power’ in Venezuela
Orlando Weekly: Florida farmworkers call DeSantis’ comments on ‘overwhelmingly Hispanic’ infection rates ‘shameful’