Miami-Dade Mayor On Crisis In Venezuela: ‘We Expect Action’ From Trump Administration

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The horror of Venezuela gets second billing to North Korea, the French elections and Donald Trump’s latest.

But the protests against the Maduro government crackdown and the persistent opposition demonstrations continue.

“The death toll has now reached 22 people. On TV you are able to see some of the things that have occurred,” J.C. Bermudez said.

Lack of food, a civil society crumbling and opposition leaders jailed – all this brought together a bevy of local political leaders who are well aware the growing economic and political power of Venezuelans in South Florida.

Those same Venezuelans made their message very clear last week with a major demonstration in Downtown Miami. They want U.S. government action.

“I denounce Maduro, the dictator and his regime, for using violence against his own people,” said Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz. “I ask our government to impose sanction against corrupt Venezuelan officials and other government who terrorize their people.”

But as the violence continues, who do the officials talk too?

The Trump administration is slow to ramp up a Latin American policy, much less staff the State Department with Latin American experts.

“I am not sure about the administration gearing up those offices yet,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. “Yet it seems like the rhetoric is a little stronger than the previous administration. But the situation is much worse than was under the previous administration. We expect action.”

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