South Florida Venezuelans fight for referendum to decide whether to oust president

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Washington, DC, July 12, 2016 | comments

LOCAL 10 (WPLG ABC MIAMI)

South Florida Venezuelans fight for referendum to decide whether to oust president

By Hatzel Vela

MIAMI - Venezuelans living in South Florida took to the streets Monday, demanding access to basic necessities for those in their home country.

"We live in a country where you can't get food, and if you do, it costs 10 times more than what people make," Marylin Martino, who is a member of the Venezuelan Assembly, said.

"It's absolutely appalling," U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz said.

The Democratic congresswoman is using the bully pulpit to highlight what's being called a humanitarian and political crisis in the South American country that affects so many people right here in South Florida.

While the country's economy is in shambles, Venezuelans there and abroad continue to fight for a referendum that would allow the people to vote and decide whether or not to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office.

"We believe democracy should be allowed to work its course in Venezuela, and Maduro should get out of the way," Wasserman Shultz said.

Just last week, lawmakers in the U.S. passed sanctions against top Venezuelan officials held responsible for repressing their people.

"There have been new sanctions recently, and I expect that there will be more," Wasserman Shultz said.

A proposed bill would allow Venezuelans who are fleeing persecution to keep their visas longer and be granted temporary protective status.

http://www.local10.com/news/international/south-florida-venezuelans-fight-for-referendum-to-decide-whether-to-oust-president

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