MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It was supposed to be a show of solidarity with the Venezuelan people on Thursday but as with all things at Doral City Hall, it came with a side dish of drama. Tempers were flaring and there was some yelling.
It all had to do with a Venezuelan flag. One man wanted to hang it upside down to signal a country in chaos. Another man refused, setting off a shouting match.
Ironically, both men are on the same side, calling for real reform in a country marred in violence for weeks.
“The country is completely paralyzed due to how violent the country has become,” said Doral Mayor Luigi Boria.
Boria is the first Venezuelan mayor in Florida’s history. He is known for making waves, often shouting at his fellow council.
On Thursday, he was the voice of reason.
“We encourage the Obama Administration to take action in this cause immediately,” said Boria.
The city council is standing up and demanding the United State Government imposes sanctions.
“It’s not going to be enough. They are the brave ones there. They are giving the ultimate sacrifice which is their lives but we can do what we can do. Which is their voice. To be their voice,” said Doral Councilwoman Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera.
Councilwoman Aguilera said she’s seen this before.
“It’s a repeat of history. As a Cuban-American, I lived through this in my life. I see all the different factions,” said Aguilera.
She hopes this time Venezuelans don’t let it linger for 50 plus years.
Later this week she is taking the fight to Washington D.C., escorting Venezuelan students to plead their case to politicians.
“I feel a sense of responsibility, of doing anything that we can do to help,” said Carlos Tagliafico of Freedom CV.
They may be 1600 miles away but feel they are in the fight too.
Whether you are shouting or speaking calmly the message of Venezuela’s SOS has reached Congress who is considering sanctions. Whether that will happen or will it be enough remains to be seen.