Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Wednesday that he was taking steps to prohibit the State of Florida from doing business with any organization that supports the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela.
Despite having abundant oil resources, Venezuela has been struggling in recent years in a dire economic crisis, with the Maduro regime’s heavy-handed control over the economy and rampant corruption taking much of the blame. News reports have shown nationwide shortages of food, medicine, toilet paper, and other staples, and malnutrition is common. According to Politico, the crime rate has soared, and inflation skyrocketed to 720 percent last year. Meanwhile, protests have been met with a brutal crackdown from the Maduro regime, leaving dozens dead and many more injured and imprisoned.
Scott’s plan is to bring an agenda item before the Trustees of the State Board of Administration in August, and he told reporters that he would release a more detailed proposal prior to the August 16th Cabinet meeting.
“During the next meeting of the Florida Cabinet in August, I will bring forward a proposal that will prohibit the State of Florida from doing business with any organization that supports the oppressive Maduro dictatorship,” said Scott. “Floridians stand with the people of Venezuela as they fight for their freedom, and as a state, we must not provide any support for Maduro and his thugs.
“On Venezuela Independence Day, we stand in solidarity with the opposition to the brutal Maduro regime, whose crimes against his own people continue daily. In fact, just today, Maduro’s henchmen violently disrupted a meeting of the opposition controlled National Assembly. This is unacceptable behavior that Florida will not tolerate.”
Scott’s actions are in line with the current policies of President Donald Trump’s administration, which recently imposed targeted sanctions on several top Venezuelan officials, including its vice president and eight members of its Supreme Court. Targeted sanctions involve freezing any assets these individuals may have in the United States and prohibiting Americans from doing business with them. White House officials have warned that harsher sanctions are being considered if the regime fails to reform.
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr.
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