Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 140399
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File Number: 140399 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-253-14 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT USING VIOLENCE Introduced: 2/21/2014
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 3/4/2014
Agenda Date: 3/4/2014 Agenda Item Number: 11A25
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT FOR USING VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION AGAINST ITS POLITICAL OPPOSITION; EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THOSE VENEZUELANS WHO ARE VALIANTLY FIGHTING TO RESTORE THEIR NATION TO A PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC STATE; URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE IMMEDIATE DIPLOMATIC ACTION
Indexes: URGING
Sponsors: Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Prime Sponsor
  Bruno A. Barreiro, Co-Sponsor
  Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Co-Sponsor
  Jean Monestime, Co-Sponsor
  Sen. Javier D. Souto, Co-Sponsor
  Xavier L. Suarez, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 3/4/2014 11A25 Adopted P
REPORT: Chairwoman Sosa asked Commissioner Diaz, as prime sponsor to present the foregoing proposed resolution. She noted she was honored to be a co-sponsor. Commissioner Diaz requested the Administration to ensure that this item was added as a priority to the Legislative package. Commissioner Diaz spoke on the recent events that took place in Venezuela, which reflected the lack of human rights. He commended the work of Senator Marco Rubio and others. Commissioner Diaz urged his colleagues to stand up for people’s rights and to impact Washington. He thanked Chairwoman Sosa for her support in this item. Chairwoman Sosa commented on the large number of residents from Venezuela in District 12 and throughout the County. She commended the students in Venezuela who were defending their rights, and said that she wanted to join forces with them to declare “SOS Venezuela.” She said she wanted to take part in sending a message to Washington to commend all of the politicians, including Senator Rubio, who had joined in this effort. Chairwoman Sosa noted this was a non-partisan issue which pertained to respect for human rights, and the United States should help protect liberty and freedom. It was moved by Commissioner Diaz that the Board adopt the foregoing proposed resolution. This motion was seconded by Chairwoman Sosa, followed by discussion. Commissioner Souto noted he was supportive of this proposal and commented on the recent horrendous events in Venezuela, and the Venezuelan government which was a dictatorship. He sent his warmest regards to Senator Marco Rubio and noted Miami-Dade County had a great responsibility concerning this issue. Commissioner Souto spoke in support of intervening in international affairs because Miami-Dade County was a gateway to this country and an international City that was called the “Capital of the Americas.” Commissioner Bovo said that although he normally believed that it was not this Commission’s role to be involved in international politics, it was clear that Miami-Dade County residents were greatly affected by this issue and it should be highlighted in order to bring resolve. He noted the events in Ukraine had drawn attention away from what was happening in Venezuela. Commissioner Bovo expressed his concern regarding the other governments in the region, such as Argentina, and Brazil, that had kept quiet on this issue. Commissioner Bovo declared “SOS to Venezuela,” and requested to be a co-sponsor for this item. Commissioners Souto, Suarez, and Barreiro requested to be co-sponsors for this item, as well. Hearing no further comments or questions, the Board members proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution, as presented.

County Attorney 2/21/2014 Assigned Michael B. Valdes 2/25/2014

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION CONDEMNING THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT FOR USING VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION AGAINST ITS POLITICAL OPPOSITION; EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR THOSE VENEZUELANS WHO ARE VALIANTLY FIGHTING TO RESTORE THEIR NATION TO A PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC STATE; URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO TAKE IMMEDIATE DIPLOMATIC ACTION

BODY
WHEREAS, Nicolás Maduro a member of the United socialist Party—was declared the winner of Venezuela’s April 14, 2013 presidential election by an incredibly slim margin with 50.6 percent of votes cast; and
WHEREAS, Venezuela’s political opposition has highlighted widespread incidents of potential election fraud, voter intimidation, and other abuses by the Venezuelan government in support of Nicolás Maduro’s candidacy; and
WHEREAS, the Organization of American States and other multilateral institutions have called for a full recount and audit of the April 14, 2013 presidential election; and
WHEREAS, the Senate of the Republic of Chile, the Christian Democratic Organization of the Americas, the Socialist International, the Union of Latin American parties, and other political organizations in the region have issued declarations recognizing the possibility of election irregularities and have also urged a complete audit of the election results; and
WHEREAS, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council has nevertheless denied requests for a full and comprehensive audit of the election results; and
WHEREAS, the people of Venezuela have a right to a fair and democratic process and their government has an obligation to promote and defend it; and
WHEREAS, this right was usurped by the Venezuelan government during the April 14, 2013 presidential election and has continued to be infringed by the government’s sustained actions against its political opposition; and
WHEREAS, for example, opposition parties in Venezuela were denied the right to speak in the national legislature from April 16, 2013 to May 21, 2013 and members from those parties were removed from key committee positions in response to raising concerns over the legitimacy of the presidential election results; and
WHEREAS, members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela also violently assaulted opposition legislators on April 16, 2013 and April 30, 2013 in the National Assembly; and
WHEREAS, the Venezuelan government’s rampant disregard for the free speech rights of its citizens has only persisted; and
WHEREAS, in recent weeks, the Venezuelan people have begun to courageously take to the streets in nationwide protests against President Maduro; and
WHEREAS, the Venezuelan government has responded to these protests with violent acts of repression, human rights violations, killing individuals who are doing nothing more than exercising their right to free speech, and arresting various members of the political opposition, including opposition leader Leopoldo López; and
WHEREAS, the Venezuelan government also recently expelled three U.S. diplomats from the country; and
WHEREAS, these are not the actions of a nation that purports to be democratic and governed by the rule of law; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Senate has already passed S.Res.213, which urges the State Department to work in concert with other countries in the Americas to take meaningful steps to ensure the rule of law in Venezuela and to strengthen the ability of the Organization of American States to respond to election fraud and human rights violations by its member states; and
WHEREAS, this Board believes that the United States government should employ all available diplomatic options to address the pressing and escalating situation in Venezuela,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Condemns the Venezuelan government for using violence and intimidation against its political opposition.
Section 2. Expresses its support for those Venezuelans who are valiantly fighting to restore their nation to a peaceful and democratic state.
Section 3. Urges the federal government to take immediate diplomatic action to help return democracy and the rule of law to Venezuela.
Section 4. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, the Secretary of State, and the United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States.



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