Rep. Mucarsel-Powell Blasts Trump for Putting Venezuelans’ Lives in Danger

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

By Giselle Balido

September 25, 2020

Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would give Venezuelans the ability to live and work legally in the US for a limited time without fear of deportation.

FLORIDA—Throughout his presidency and especially in the last six weeks before the Nov. 3 election, President Donald Trump has been promising that his administration is “going to be fighting for Venezuelans.”

This is what he claimed just eight weeks ago, during a roundtable discussion held in the US Southern Command headquarters in Doral, Florida, a battleground state he needs to win to retain the presidency.

RELATED: Cubans and Venezuelans Are ‘Worse Off’ Under Trump, Biden Says

But despite promises that he will help those in exile or suffering extreme poverty and political repression under Nicolas Maduro’s Communist dictatorship, Republicans in the Senate and the Trump administration recently delivered a huge setback to Venezuelans living in the US.

Lives at Risk

Last week, Republicans blocked a Senate Democrats’ proposal that would fast-track a bill to grant Venezuelans Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This would give Venezuelans the ability to live and work legally in the US for a limited time without fear of deportation.

US Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (Fla.-26), a Democrat who over a year ago helped to pass the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 in the House, blasted President Trump and Republicans in the Senate for turning their backs on Venezuelans and placing their lives in danger.

“By blocking TPS for Venezuelans, the Trump administration and Republican Senators are risking the lives of Venezuelans in South Florida and across the country by sending them back to suffer under the Maduro dictatorship,” Mucarsel-Powell told The Americano.

RELATED: Luis A. Miranda: Trump Is Pretending to Care About Puerto Rico. Don’t Fall for It.

The bill was co-authored by Florida lawmakers Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, a Republican, and Rep. Darren Soto, a Democrat. But although they tried to pass the bill using unanimous consent, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) blocked the bill’s passage on behalf of Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee. 

Mucarsel-Powell believes that President Trump could have persuaded the Republican-controlled Senate to join Democrats in passing this legislation.

“Instead he again turns his back on Venezuelans. The community recognizes that Trump has failed in every way to support the cause of security, liberty, and democracy for Venezuela,” she added.

Venezuelans for Trump

But despite the current administration’s lack of results in Venezuela, and the recent setback delivered to those living in the US by the blocking of TPS, a September University of North Florida survey conducted on behalf of El Diario shows that about 66% of Venezuelans with the right to vote in Florida will give their vote to the incumbent Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.

More significantly, the poll revealed that five out of 10 Venezuelans with Democratic Party affiliation will vote for Trump. In fact, 53% of Venezuelan Democrats support Trump, while Biden has 47% of their support.

Some Have Lost Hope

Still, there are dissenting voices in Florida’s Venezuelan community.

“What can we expect?” A. Roncón, a retired Venezuelan American living in Miami told The Americano after learning of the TPS setback. “Trump is a racist, a xenophobe and a liar.”

Believing Trump’s promises of a free and democratic Venezuela is no longer an option for some.

READ MORE: Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Will Impact Latinos for Generations. Here’s Why You Need to Pay Attention.

“Venezuelans swear that Trump is going to get rid of Maduro, that’s why they support him,” a Venezuelan digital artist with a special skills visa, who prefers to remain anonymous, told The Americano. 

At this time, she has given up on Trump’s promises and, fearful of the current administration’s policies and what they could mean for her, as well for many of the more than 417,000 Venezuelans in the US, she is considering selling her apartment and moving to another country with her boyfriend. 

“Frankly, I have lost all hope that we will ever get out from under Venezuela’s dictatorship,” she concluded.



Local News

Related Stories