Add Miami-Dade to the growing list of governments and politicians that recognize Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.
The county commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz to join the United States in recognizing the president of Venezuela’s congress as the new leader.  The commission also approved a separate Diaz resolution urging Congress to pass the proposed Venzuelan Humanitarian Relief, Reconstruction and Rule of Law Act to provide humanitarian aid to those fleeing Maduro’s government.
“It’s time to say enough is enough to Nicolas Maduro’s socialist dictatorship and to stand with the people of Venezuela to restore freedom and democracy to their country, which has suffered so much under the Chavez and Maduro regimes,” said Diaz, whose district includes Doral — also known as Doralzuela — home to the largest concentration of Venezuelans in the U.S.
This is not the first time local pols condemn Maduro or stand with the Venezuelan opposition. But it’s the first time they have so much company.
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The U.S., Canada and most of the nations in South America and Europe have recognized Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president after he led nationwide protests on two weeks ago on Jan 23 in which he declared himself interim president. He and millions of Venezuelans have demanded the resignation of Nicolás Maduro, a dictator who was “re-elected” last May in what everybody knows was a sham election and celebrated a lavish inauguration on Jan. 10.
“Miami-Dade County is proud to stand with the people of Venezuela and their demands for a restoration of freedom and democracy after decades of dictatorship and misrule by Maduro and Chavez,” Diaz said.
Part of the Venezuelan community is also in Congressional District 26, where newly-elected U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell — possibly the first local pol to make a statement supporting Guaidó — has been proactive.
“I have always joined the millions of Venezuelans in recognizing the National Assembly as the only legitimate governing institution in Venezuela and calling for new elections,” Mucarsel-Powell said on the 23rd, the same day as the protests, in front of the Equestrian Simon Bolivar memorial in D.C. (photo, right).
“I am hopeful that this step of invoking the country’s constitution to declare Maduro an illegitimate president and have interim President Juan Guaidó legitimately fill the vacancy will bring Venezuela closer to restoring stability and democracy to their country,” she said. “The Venezuelan people – those who have remained in the country as well as those who have fled – have suffered tremendously, and Maduro can no longer lead the country. Estamos con ustedes.”’
One day earlier, Mucarsel-Powell had held a roundtable discussion with community leaders and immigration rights advocates to address the Venezuelan political and humanitarian crisis, as well as her efforts to extend TPS to Venezuelans and Nicaraguans currently residing in the United States. The participants were urged to share their experiences navigating our broken immigration system, so Mucarsel-Powell can share their stories in Washington.
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Other electeds also released statements on on the 23rd:
“Today, 61 years after the overthrow of the dictatorship in Venezuela, Venezuelans take the streets to demand freedom and an end to the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro,” said State Sen. José Javier Rodríguez. “I stand in support of the Venezuelan community in their efforts to defend democracy and denouncing Maduro’s dictatorship, and to ensure that we will continue looking for solutions to address the socio-economic crisis that continues to affect the lives of millions in Venezuelans.”
Said State Senator Annette Taddeo: “Today I stand in support with people in Venezuela marching for freedom from Maduro’s tyranny, denouncing the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime and recognizing Juan Guaidó as provisional president.”
Mucarsel-Powell and Congresswoman Donna Shalala — who probably represents the second largest concentration of Venezuelans in the U.S. — joined six other members of Congress to introduce the Humanitarian Assistance to the Venezuelan People Act of 2019. The legislation calls on the Trump Administration to form a long-term humanitarian aid strategy, provide up to $150 million in humanitarian aid directly to the Venezuelan people, and direct the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to make humanitarian assistance a global priority.
“Maduro’s illegitimate regime plunged Venezuela into a deep political and humanitarian crisis that has spilled over into the rest of the region and the hemisphere,” said Mucarsel-Powell, the first South American born member of Congress to be elected. She led a round table discussion last week with Venezuelan community leaders at her district office.
“I support a quick restoration of Venezuela’s democracy, which means supporting interim President Juan Guaidó, and I strongly urge him to quickly hold free and fair elections,” Mucarsel-Powell said. “Providing increased humanitarian assistance – more than the $20 million that was announced by the Administration – directly to the Venezuelan people is imperative to their survival and will be a stabilizing force in the region and the hemisphere.”
“Under Maduro’s  gross mismanagement,” Shalala said, “Venezuela’s once thriving economy has collapsed and its people are sicker, poorer, and less free. This bill works to help reverse those heartbreaking trends. By providing humanitarian assistance, we stand united as a country in our commitment to the leadership of interim President Juan Guaidó and freedom for the Venezuelan people.”
The other Congress members are Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel and Darren Soto of Florida, Sylvia García of Texas, of New York and Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
“The despotic rot and corruption of the Maduro regime has inflicted unimaginable suffering on the Venezuelan people,” said Wasserman Shultz. “It threatens to infect the entire hemisphere.
“Supporting interim President Juan Guaidó, along with open and fair elections, will restore democracy there in the long term, but only swift and substantial increases in humanitarian aid can help ease the tragic suffering its people face right now,” she said.
Said Soto:  “Maduro’s dictatorship has caused famine in what once was the wealthiest country in South America. We continue to see images out of Venezuela of kids scavenging for food out of trash, hospitals with medicinal shortages overflowing with patients, and refugees surviving the immigration journey in precarious conditions.
“As Venezuela resolves its political unrest within the country, it is our duty and moral responsibility to provide humanitarian assistance for those in need,” Soto said.
From their mouth to God’s ears.

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