File Number: 171923
|Printable PDF Format|
|File Number: 171923||File Type: Resolution||Status: Amended|
|Version: 0||Reference:||Control: Board of County Commissioners|
|Requester: NONE||Cost:||Final Action:|
|Sunset Provision: No||Effective Date:||Expiration Date:|
|Registered Lobbyist:||None Listed|
|Acting Body||Date||Agenda Item||Action||Sent To||Due Date||Returned||Pass/Fail|
|Board of County Commissioners||8/7/2017||Special Item No. 1||Amended|
|REPORT:||See Special Item No. 1 Amended, Legislative File No. 171927 for the amended version.|
|County Attorney||8/3/2017||Assigned||Javier Zapata|
RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY’S SANCTIONING OF VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO; CONDEMNING THE RESULTS OF THE RECENT ELECTION TO INSTITUTE A NATIONAL CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY; DENOUNCING THE VENEZUELAN GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE TO COOPERATE WITH INTERNATIONAL COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS; URGING THE UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO GRANT TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS TO VENEZUELAN NATIONALS LIVING IN THE UNITED STATES; AND APPROVING ATTACHED CORRESPONDENCE TO PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP AND TRANSMITTAL THEREOF BY DESIGNATED COMMISSIONER
WHEREAS, on July 31, 2017, the United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) sanctioned the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, and added him to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals along with seven other members of the Venezuelan government; and
WHEREAS, due to OFAC’s sanctions, all of Maduro’s assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction have been frozen, U.S. persons are prohibited from doing business with him, and Maduro has been denied access to U.S. financial and commercial systems; and
WHEREAS, Maduro now joins Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and Kim Jong-un of North Korea as one of only four heads of state across the globe to be sanctioned in this manner; and
WHEREAS, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has also warned that any others who participate in supporting the authoritarian Maduro regime could be exposed to future U.S. sanctions for their role in undermining democratic processes in Venezuela; and
WHEREAS, earlier this week, the Maduro regime called a special national election to institute and certify a new political body in Venezuela known as the National Constituent Assembly; and
WHEREAS, the National Constituent Assembly is equipped with the power to rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution in any way Maduro envisions, including dismantling any other branch of government; and
WHEREAS, during the early morning of August 1, 2017, political opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were taken from their homes by security forces; and
WHEREAS, over 120 individuals have died in recent months protesting the Maduro regime, with 16 such deaths occurring on Sunday, July 30; and
WHEREAS, in May 2016, for the 11th consecutive year, the U.S. Department of State determined that Venezuela was not cooperating fully with U.S. counterterrorism efforts, noting credible reports that Venezuela maintained a permissive environment for support of activities benefitting known terrorist groups; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 also notes that the Venezuelan government took no action against senior Venezuelan government officials who were designated under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for materially assisting the trafficking activities of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC); and
WHEREAS, Miami-Dade County is home to a sizable population of Venezuelan nationals; and
WHEREAS, due to the crumbling socioeconomic infrastructure in Venezuela, it is not safe for these individuals to return to Venezuela under these conditions; and
WHEREAS, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has the power to grant temporary protected status to nationals of certain countries for humanitarian causes; and
WHEREAS, this Board has repeatedly taken steps to condemn the actions of the Maduro regime while supporting diplomatic efforts to promote democracy in Venezuela, including:
* Resolution No. R-253-14, which condemned the Venezuelan government for using violence and intimidation against political opposition and urged the federal government to take immediate diplomatic action; and
* Resolution No. R-455-14, which urged the previous administration and the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelan nationals in the United States; and
* Resolution No. R-526-17, which urged the federal government to impose sanctions on officials or persons acting on behalf of the Venezuelan government whom the President determined are responsible for, or complicit in, the commission of serious human rights abuses; and
* Resolution No. R-527-17, which supported House Resolution 259, a federal resolution expressing concern over and condemnation of the political, economic, social, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela; and
* Resolution No. R-528-17, which supported H.R. 2161, a bill entitled the Venezuelan Refugee Assistance Act, which would allow Venezuelans in the United States to apply for legal permanent resident status; and
* Resolution No. R-530-17, which further condemned the Venezuelan government for using violence and intimidation against political opposition and continued to urge the federal government to take immediate diplomatic action; and
* Resolution No. R-777-17, which urged the federal government and the State of Florida to support economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government; and
WHEREAS, this resolution also incorporates and approves the attached correspondence to President Donald J. Trump, which expresses the members of this Board’s vehement disapproval of the Maduro regime based on past resolutions passed by this Board; and
WHEREAS, this Board supports further action designed to hasten the return of democracy to the people of Venezuela,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Commends the United States Department of the Treasury’s sanctioning of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Section 2. Condemns the results of the recent election to institute a National Constituent Assembly.
Section 3. Denounces the Venezuelan government’s failure to cooperate with international counterterrorism efforts.
Section 4. Urges President Donald J. Trump and the United States Secretary of Homeland Security to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelan nationals living in the United States.
Section 5. Approves the attached correspondence to President Donald J. Trump and transmittal thereof by Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz. The attached correspondence will be on file with the Clerk of the Board until 4:00 p.m., August 14, 2017, for signature by any Commissioner.
Section 6. Directs the Clerk of the Board to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the President, the Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Re: Current Events in Venezuela
Dear Mr. President,
The undersigned members of the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners are writing to convey this Board’s position on recent events in Venezuela. Specifically, this Board writes to:
1. Commend the United States Department of the Treasury’s sanctioning of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
2. Condemn the results of the recent election in Venezuela to institute a National Constituent Assembly.
3. Denounce the Venezuelan government’s failure to cooperate with international counterterrorism efforts.
4. Urge your administration to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelan nationals living in the United States.
The current crisis in Venezuela is of great importance to the residents of Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade County is home to the largest Venezuelan-American community in the United States and our constituents are troubled by the unfolding of events in Venezuela. Many Miami-Dade County residents have family members still living under the oppressive conditions created by the Maduro regime. Because of the magnitude of these issues, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners called a special meeting during its summer recess to consider, discuss, and transmit the attached resolution supporting the above-referenced actions to be taken to restore democracy to Venezuela.
As you know, the sociopolitical climate in Venezuela has only worsened in recent weeks as President Nicolas Maduro continues his efforts to solidify his power at the expense of the will of the Venezuelan people. The Maduro regime’s silencing and jailing of political opponents, rampant human rights violations, and overhaul of Venezuela’s system of government is at significant odds with the fundamental values of democracy championed by the United States. Numerous other democratic nations and American allies across the globe have voiced similar concerns with the Maduro regime. Further, the U.S. Department of State determined in its annual Counterterrorism Report that Venezuela was not cooperating fully with U.S. counterterrorism efforts, noting credible reports that Venezuela maintained a permissive environment for support of activities benefitting known terrorist groups.
The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners has enacted a number of resolutions related to the recent events in Venezuela and condemned the Maduro regime for its flagrant disrespect of democratic institutions. This Board has supported imposing sanctions on members of the Maduro regime, denounced the Venezuelan government’s use of violence and intimidation tactics against political opposition, and urged the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelan nationals living in the United States.
On July 31, 2017, in response to the results of the sham election creating a National Constituent Assembly designed to abrogate and rewrite the Venezuelan Constitution, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned President Nicolas Maduro, adding him to a list of seven other members of the Venezuelan government who have been denied access to U.S. financial and commercial systems. Maduro now joins Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and Kim Jong-un of North Korea as one of only four heads of state across the globe to be sanctioned in this manner.
The United States is Venezuela’s largest trading partner, with an estimated transfer of over $23.9 billion in goods in 2015 alone. As such, the decisions your administration will make with respect to the Maduro regime will greatly shape the political and social landscape of Venezuela for years to come.
The crisis in Venezuela has reached historic proportions, but this Board believes these issues to be solvable. To that end, this Board would like to reiterate its support and commitment to the efforts that have been undertaken to restore democracy to the Venezuelan people.
Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., Chairman Audrey M. Edmonson, Vice Chairwoman
Bruno A. Barreiro, District 5 Daniella Levine Cava, District 8
Jose “Pepe” Diaz, District 12 Sally A. Heyman, District 4
Barbara J. Jordan, District 1 Joe A. Martinez, District 11
Jean Monestime, District 2 Dennis C. Moss, District 9
Rebeca Sosa, District 6 Javier D. Souto, District 10
Xavier L. Suarez, District 7
Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor
E-mail your comments,
questions and suggestions to