Just a day after Florida politicians from both parties on Thursday called upon President Joe Biden to uphold sanctions against the Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke out against talks held between the Biden administration and Venezuela over the acquisition of oil.
Lawmakers have been critical and questioning as to why the U.S. government is considering the easing of sanctions in exchange for oil production in wake of Biden’s decision to ban the purchase of Russian oil. A letter sent to Biden by a group of Florida politicians yesterday emphasized a list of atrocities committed by the Maduro regime, including various systematic killings and torture that have been deemed crimes against humanity.
“I know many Floridians are very angered by the Biden administration’s attempts to legitimize the brutal Maduro regime in Venezuela,” said DeSantis. “This is, unfortunately, becoming something of a pattern with the Biden administration. What we see with the Biden administration is basically thumbing their nose at people here in our state when they sit idly and do not lift a finger to help the democracy protestors in Cuba … and now to go in and legitimize Nicolás Maduro, who has been responsible for a lot of atrocities, we are now here to speak out against that.”
DeSantis additionally called for an energy-independent America, warning of rising gas prices that could reach 5 to 6 dollars in the near future.
“We have a huge amount of energy reserves in this country. you look at how these gas prices are impacting consumers here and across the country, it wasn’t just because of the Russians. Gas has been going up since January of 2021. That’s a fact,” quipped the governor. “We have folks that have to go to work. Part of the reason we’re in this situation is due to policy by the Biden administration that really kneecapped the American energy industry.”
DeSantis echoed a complaint heard across the country, requesting to know why Biden is seeking to economically sanction one dictator by facilitating business with another previously-sanctioned dictator. Any diplomatic relations with the current government of Venezuela would help legitimize its leadership cabal, which has been relinquished to the status of a pariah on the world stage.
Florida’s governor also drew attention to the fact that rising oil costs are having an effect on other industries, like food shipping and transportation. Coupled with the highest rate of inflation the country has seen in decades, DeSantis forebodes to a weakened economy.
“Now we’re in a situation where we have a totally different energy policy. We don’t need to rely on these countries the way that we are now,” said DeSantis. “All of these different industries rely on energy. What you see in the grocery store, the skyrocketing prices, that’s also partially a result of energy prices. The energy [prices] are really doing a lot.”