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DORAL (CBSMiami) – Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz led a forum about the crisis in Venezuela Saturday in Weston.

The city is not only a part of her district but it is known for its large Venezuelan community.

“We need to apply pressure from the United States using our diplomatic tools at our disposal,” Wasserman Schultz said.

The congresswoman also wants Venezuelans leaving their native country to be granted temporary protected status, or TPS, in the US.

The four democratic leaders from Florida and New Jersey told the crowd they remain hopeful there will be a smooth transition of power from President Nicolás Maduro to Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó.

“His corrupt regime must go,” Rep. Donna Shalala said.

Guidó’s top diplomat in the U.S. said humanitarian aid will get in with the help of international pressure.

“This is not a single event. This is only one event. But we need to increase that pressure to facilitate the entrance of food and medicine in our country,” Carlos Vecchio said.

Venezuelans in South Florida also rallied on the streets in Weston.

“I’m grateful for the Unites States of America with President Donald Trump and all the committee and everybody who was helping us,” Supporter Maria Boindi said.

Another rally in Little Havana brought out dozens.

“It is time. It is time for these people to leave our country. We don’t want socialism,” Supporter Andreina Kissane said.

After Saturday’s clashes in border cities in Venezuela, some groups say they won’t stop collecting supplies to help.

“Seeing my friends. My friends of friends are dying,” Volunteer Connie Pinero said.

Republican leaders are also focused on getting the aid there.

Senator Marco Rubio tweeted:

“The whole world saw the regime use security forces and gangs to injure and kill unarmed civilians. The whole world saw them set fire to 3 trucks carrying food and other humanitarian aid. They will soon realize how badly they overplayed their hand today.”

Senator Scott tweeted, “Nicolas Maduro would rather burn humanitarian aid than let it be delivered to the people of Venezuela. Only a despicable and disgusting human being would do that.”

South Florida has the largest Venezuelan population in the United States. We expect to see more rallies in the near future.

Ty Russell

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