The president of the National Assembly of Venezuela and recognized as president in charge of more than 50 countries, Juan Guaidó, thanked the US his help and support to "conquer freedom" and affirmed that we must take advantage of the current moment to achieve it definitively.
"We must take advantage of this moment, the moment is now, Venezuela will be a free country and a friend of the region", Guaidó said in a videoconference from Caracas to attendees at an event in Miami in which the US president, Donald Trump, intervened. Guaidó was introduced by presidential adviser John Bolton as the future president of a free Venezuela.
Bolton said that there are more than 50 countries that recognize Guaidó as president instead of Nicolás Maduro and more than 80% of Venezuelans as well, as well as underlining that the mobilization in Venezuela is "irreversible". In his brief address, Guaidó thanked the United States for his help and pointed out that Venezuela is torn between "democracy and dictatorship, between life and death".
US President Donald Trump also had words for this situation since his address at the International University of Florida (FIU), warning the military in Venezuela that they will lose "everything they have" if they do not break with the Venezuelan illegitimate president, Nicolás Maduro, besides arguing that the fall of that president would help "promote democracy in Nicaragua and Cuba".
According to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, Trump will ensure that "the current path to democracy is irreversible", and that "the Venezuelan military has a clear decision to make: work for democracy for their future and that of their families, or else, they will lose everything they have".
The president warned that the US "knows where the money is hidden, all over the world, the military (Venezuelans) and their families", so they "should listen to President (Juan) Guaidó and allow humanitarian aid to enter Venezuela", he added.
Trump recognized almost a month ago as the legitimate president of Venezuela the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, and will use his speech to reaffirm that support, five days before the date scheduled by the opposition for the entrance into the Caribbean country of the humanitarian aid provided by US on the border with Colombia.
In addition, Trump will affirm that "Venezuela should not be a puppet state of Cuba", according to Sanders.
"The successful peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela will help promote democracy in Nicaragua and Cuba, and we have created a path for the first fully democratic hemisphere in human history", said the spokeswoman, advancing the key ideas of the speech.
Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, described last November as a "troika of tyranny" to the supposed axis formed by the governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, and promised that this "triangle of terror" will "crumble".
Before the fact, the president of the Organization of Venezuelan Persecuted Politicians in Exile (Veppex), José Antonio Colina, asked the president of the United States to take the "right decision" in case "military support" is necessary in Venezuela. This he carried out by means of a public letter.
In the letter, Colina praises Trump's leadership and determination in the face of the Venezuelan crisis and underlines the clarity with which the US has repudiated the "illegitimate regime" of Nicolás Maduro has been "key" to arouse the support of the international community.
"In the coming days, the decisions taken by your Administration will impact the future of millions of Venezuelans", said the president of Veppex in his letter in English, which also recalled that the humanitarian crisis "created by the regime" is costing hundreds of people’s lives and that is why it is necessary that "the United States continue on the path it started".
"The humanitarian aid that is set to enter Venezuela on February 23 is necessary", says Colina, who warns however that "the crisis will deepen" and the oppression of opponents will be maintained if Maduro remains in the power.
"If the military does not change sides, external support will be required to balance the situation, and we are hopeful that when the time comes, the right decision will be made because of the human cost this crisis is having", he added. "Venezuelans thank you, Mr. President, what you have done to restore democracy and freedom in your neighbor in the south", concludes Colina, who was one of the guests at the event at Florida International University in Miami.
In the same way, several congressmen of the Democratic Party of Florida pleaded on Monday for a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans living in the United States and recalled "Trump's atrocious record on immigration and how it affects Venezuelans fleeing their country".
In a telephone press conference that took place on Monday morning, Congressmen Donna Shalala, Ted Deutch, Darren Soto and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell argued that the current Administration has denied asylum visas to almost half of Venezuelans who have requested in the United States.
Darren Soto, a Democratic congressman from Orlando, Florida, said a proposed bipartisan bill has a "scope for all Venezuelans after the illegitimate election of President (Nicolás) Maduro".
According to Soto, "with our bill will be automatic (the asylum application process) and will be taken into account if the Venezuelan who applies is in the US after the election of Maduro, which was a fraudulent election".
"Venezuelans can have a TPS and make the process much easier, because now there are more than 70,000 people applying and with our bill they only have to prove if they are here after the election of Maduro", Soto stressed.
According to the Orlando congressman, there are currently more than 70,000 asylum requests from Venezuelans without an answer. Soto estimated the exodus of Venezuelans around the world at 3 million, and 147,000 of them living in Florida. "The most worrying thing is that there are hundreds of Venezuelans who are receiving deportations from the Trump Administration", said the congressman.
For its part, the Democrat of Ecuadorian origin Debbie Mucarsel-Powell said that "it does not make any sense for the Administration to say that the Maduro regime is illegitimate if at the same time it is deporting the Venezuelans who are here, (back) to a country where 90% of the population is living in poverty".
"I am asking that Republicans and Democrats work together to grant humanitarian assistance, give the TPS to Venezuelans and start processing all the asylum requests, which we are not currently doing", she added. "The crisis in Venezuela is affecting the entire hemisphere," added Mucarsel-Powell, the first South American congressman who wants to give a voice to Hispanics in Congress.
In her opinion, "if indeed (the government) is interested in helping Venezuelans, we have to start here, for the TPS and put pressure on Trump". The Florida branch of the Democratic Party criticized in a recent press release the "double discourse" that Trump has on Venezuela and pointed out that while criticizing Nicolás Maduro, "he has denied almost half of the Venezuelan applicants seeking asylum".
The press conference of the Florida Democrats took place a few hours before Trump offered a speech on Venezuela at FIU, in Miami-Dade County, in order to reaffirm his support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognized by Washington and more than 40 countries as the interim president.
The TPS was established in 1990 and protects immigrants who cannot return safely to their country due to natural disasters, armed conflicts or other extraordinary conditions.
Currently, the program protects more than 436,000 immigrants from deportation, of whom approximately 90% are from El Salvador (262,000), Honduras (86,000), Haiti (58,000) and Nicaragua (5,000).