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Hispanic Leaders Call out Trump & the Republicans for their Hypocritical Actions Toward the Cuban & Venezuelan Communities

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“They're exploiting the pain and loss of the Venezuelan and Cubans for political gain"

Today, the Florida Democratic Party hosted a press call with State Senator José Javier Rodríguez, State Representative Javier Fernández, Dr. Frank Mora, and Juan Gonzalez. While Trump and the Republicans claim to support Venezuelans and Cubans, the reality tells a different story: Trump still refuses to help Cuban and Venezuelan asylum seekers in the United States and, behind closed doors, Republican allies are receiving money from the Maduro regime. Just this week, a New York Times article revealed that former Republican Congressman David Rivera had a deal with the Maduro regime for consulting services in 2017.

Highlights from the press call:

State Senator José Javier Rodríguez (SD-37):

“For years, Republicans have had this tactic of pretending as if they’re the only ones fighting for democracy and human rights. The truth is Democrats have fought even harder over the course of history for democracy and human rights in Latin America… What we’re doing today is calling out the hypocrisy, the silence of many in the Republican party when we see the action by prominent Republicans, starting with Donald Trump… And of course recently we’ve heard of the close relationship, to say the least, between ex-Congressman David Rivera and PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company. At the same time, as Republican leaders try to make it seem like their ideology and their party is the only one fighting for democracy, we have very egregious and direct examples of hypocrisy and we don’t see any outrage on the Republican side. Where is the outrage?”

State Representative Javier Fernández (HD-114): 

“It shocks the conscience when one juxtaposes the talking points of Republicans when it comes to their positions on Cuba and Venezuela against their actions… Talking points and a lot of lip service to policy changes for the benefit of the people of Venezuela and Cuba really only come second to the personal interests, the political interests, of the Republican party and its leaders. I look forward to the day when we have a new administration in Washington led by Joe Biden, who will go back to putting the people of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua and their interests ahead of the partisan and political interests of any party.”

Dr. Frank Mora, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere:

“There’s always a difference, even a contradiction, between what the administration says and what the administration does… On the one hand, there’s all this talk of anti-communism and really, that rhetoric is nothing more than using the pain and the loss of Cubans and Venezuelans for political gain… While they’re doing that rhetorically, David Rivera and others are doing business with the Venezuelan regime. David Rivera is sharing those resources with GOP candidates in Miami-Dade county… One hypocrisy I want to highlight, and that is often not talked about, is that today those Cubans, Venezuelans, and I would add those Nicaraguans, comprise the fastest growing segment of immigration court backlogs."

"The Trump administration is deporting Cubans and Venezuelans in large amounts. The increase in Cuban deportations was 300%... The Administration claims to want to help the Venezuelan community but has yet to grant TPS to Venezuelans who are being deported to that humanitarian disaster that exists in Venezuela. That is hypocrisy and that is the double standard, that’s the difference between rhetoric and action.”

Juan Gonzalez, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and former Special Advisor to Vice President Joe Biden:

“The Trump administration is exploiting the pain and loss of the Venezuelan, the Cuban, and the Nicaraguan people for political and economic gain… This administration is trying to distract, and even fabricate information, about Vice President Joe Biden and Democrats because they can’t win on the merits… If you want to look at concrete action on Venezuela and Cuba in the U.S. Congress, you have to look no further than our representatives: Mucarsel-Powell, Shalala, and Wasserman-Schultz, who have been leading bipartisan efforts in the House of Representatives to do something on Venezuela… [Vice President Joe Biden] is somebody who has stood up for human rights defenders in Latin America, regardless of whether there were cameras on him or not.”