DORAL (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio made their way to Doral Friday where protesters rallied for change in their country to speak to the leaders of the Miami-Venex Democratic Unity Roundtable.
Both Governor Scott and Senator Rubio have been outspoken in recent days about wanting some action from the United States about the massive protests and government retribution against the protesters in Venezuela.
South Florida Venezuelans rallied Friday for change 1500 miles from home. A large group carried banners outside the El Arepezo 2 Restaurant in Doral.
“We want freedom,” said Carolina Sivoli as she held a banner. “We want the USA to really support us. We can’t stand it anymore.”
In Venezuela, protests have turned deadly as people rally against the government of leader Nicolas Maduro. They’re also angry over food shortages, sky rocketing inflation and soaring crime.
Florida Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio met with South Florida Venezuelans, joining a growing list of law makers taking up the fight.
“We’re a country based on freedom, we’re a country based on democracy,” Scott told a large crowd. “We expect that in anybody we do business with.”
Senator Rubio, along with Governor Scott is calling on President Obama to take swift action against the Maduro administration.
“What’s happening in Venezuela,” explained Senator Rubio, “is the systematic violation of liberty and human rights by a government, following a playbook that they learned from Havana and dictators before them.”
Senator Rubio wants the US government to freeze the assets of some Venezuelan government officials and revoke their visas to travel to the US.
“You know they come here to buy their fancy suits here, they buys their cars, they buy apartments, some have their kids in school here,” said Senator Rubio. “They take their travel visas to spend the money they steal from Venezuelan people in Disney World.”
Breaking into the Venezuelan National Anthem, “Glory to the Brave People,” those rallying in Doral hope their voices will blend with those at home to bring change and peace back to the streets of their country.
Rubio gave a passionate speech about the Venezuelan conflict earlier in the week and talked to CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez Thursday about the need for America to issue a declaration condemning the actions of the Venezuelan government and calling for the revocation of visas for some Venezuelan citizens in the United States.
“I’m looking for some sort of sanctions against those individuals as there is precedent for doing in the past against other individuals of government who abuse people,” Rubio told CBS4’s Eliott Rodriguez.
Rubio said that it’s an issue that the U.S. government would have to work through. He declined to name any names because he didn’t want “to be identifying people who are not responsible for it and that I think is the next step in the process is identifying who those individuals are.”
Still, there are some Senator Rubio believes are clearly responsible like Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the people around him.
“We’re going to have to identify more of those individuals, identifying by name and that really is something the state department needs to decide based on concrete evidence. We don’t want to be unjust here,” Rubio said.
Doral has one of the largest Venezuelan populations in South Florida and last weekend was host to a large rally for the people of Venezuela.