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DORAL (CBSMiami) – In a unanimous vote, Miami-Dade commissioners took up legislation to condemn the recent elections in Venezuela.
The legislation was sponsored by Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, whose district includes Doral.
“We have the largest amounts of Venezuelans living outside of Venezuela in Miami-Dade County. To us it’s an honor to have them. We are all one,” he said.
The situation in Venezuela continues to devolve rapidly.
Within the past few days, Venezuela swore in its constituent assembly, whose members have the power to rewrite the constitution and give President Nicolas Maduro sweeping powers.
The legislative body was elected in a referendum more than a week ago that is under investigation for fraud.
On Sunday, President Maduro celebrated the suppression of what officials are calling a rebellion.
Authorities said there was an attack at a military base and two people were killed.
“What’s happening in Venezuela is a dictatorship, period. To go from a democracy to a dictatorship, people are seeking refuge outside so they can enjoy freedom,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The legislation passed by Miami-Dade commissioners urges the Trump administration to grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans living in the United States.
“What would happen when they go back? It’s obvious what’s already happening in Venezuela now to the people that are there. They’re being incarcerated,” Gimenez said. “You can’t even tweet without some thug comping and picking you up and taking you to prison.”
The legislation also calls for more sanctions to the Maduro regime.