While Gov. Ron DeSantis’ attention is focused these days on what’s happening in Tallahassee during the closing days of the 2019 legislative session, he’s also keeping an eye on the latest developments involving the struggle for power in Venezuela.
“We’ll stand with the people of Venezuela here in Florida 100 percent,” DeSantis said Wednesday morning following a bill signing ceremony outside the state Capitol. “We stand with the Venezuelan exile community. Venezuelan Americans.
“If we win here. If freedom wins here,” DeSantis went on to say. “I think that’s not only great for Venezuela, I think it’s great for the hemisphere and I think that’s very bad for the Castro regime in Cuba, which is a good thing.”
DeSantis’ comments on the developing situation in Venezuela followed calls from opposition leader Juan Guaidó for fresh demonstrations against President Nicolás Maduro, who claimed Tuesday he had stopped an “attempted coup” by the opposition.
“Today we continue,” Guaidó tweeted. “We will keep going with more strength than ever, Venezuela.”
Guaidó says the armed forces now back the protesters, but Maduro says they have not turned against him.
“I have read different reports where they say Guaidó is leading a coup,” DeSantis said. “Understand, he is the legitimate interim president under their law. And, so, really Maduro is the one who acting outside the law at this point.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that U.S. military action “is possible” in Venezuela to bolster Guaido’s bid to oust Maduro.
“The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent – military action is possible, if that’s what’s required – that’s what the United States will do,” Pompeo told FOX Business on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Florida Senator Rick Scott called on President Donald Trump to begin positioning U.S. military assets for the purpose of supporting “freedom and democracy in Venezuela.”
DeSantis says he received a call from U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton yesterday briefing him on the situation in Venezuela. The governor admitted that military intervention on the part of the U.S. could be tricky
“What role our military plays?” DeSantis asked. “Look, I want to stand for freedom, but some of that stuff can be touchy
“The more we get involved overtly that may mean the population has a tougher decision. What I want to do, give whatever support we can. But, obviously, we would want it to be where the population is decisively swinging behind Juan Guaidó.”