MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Governor Rick Scott returned to South Florida on Monday and met with families as a show of support for those affected by the crisis in Venezuela.
Scott arrived to chants saying “Venezuela” and wowed a crowd at the Don Criollito restaurant in Miami.
The Governor accepted petitions that he plans to deliver to President Obama asking him to intervene and stop the violence in Venezuela.
“The people of Venezuela have a voice – this petition guarantees they will not be silenced. Their voices will not be ignored,” said Scott in a statement. “This petition represents the voices of over 1,000 people who have come together to urge the Obama Administration to take action. The voices crying out for freedom, liberty and justice will not be ignored.”
The petitions come on the heels of Scott’s letter to President Obama sent in February in which he urged the administration to place sanctions on the leadership of the Venezuelan regime.
“People are dying as we speak,” said Sandra Wong.
The Governor said the repression in Venezuela can’t be ignored and he criticized the president for not acting. “It means a lot that he can echo our voices,” said organizer Ruth Alcala.
After the rally the Governor responded for the first time to allegations of racism within his re-election staff.
South Florida billionaire Mike Fernandez recently quit the campaign after accusations that some staffers belittled Mexicans.
The Governor praised Fernandez’ financial support and said that any wrongdoing on the part of staffers won’t be tolerated.
Some people in the crowd admitted they thought Scott hasn’t done enough to support Hispanic issues and there is room for improvement.
“They get into power and forget. Even the President,” said Jaime de Lapava.
“Living in Florida, we are surrounded by friends, relatives and neighbors who are being directly impacted by Nicolas Maduro’s wave of repression in Venezuela,” said U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in a statement. “I appreciate Rick Scott’s continued efforts in support of our efforts in Congress to sanction individuals responsible for human rights violations in Venezuela and to get President Obama and his administration off the sidelines.”