SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida lawmakers Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Donna Shalala are back from their trip to Venezuela and said the U.S. needs to do more.
The representatives spoke Monday morning following their recent trip to the country’s border. They said they found the situation dire.
Wasserman Schultz also said people were dying from treatable diseases and children weren’t being vaccinated.
They said Nicolás Maduro’s regime is to blame for the crisis as well as Cuba, saying there are 60,000 Cuban troops on the ground helping Maduro.
“Maduro is killing and starving his people. He is denying them healthcare,” said Wasserman Schultz. “For the last four days, Venezuela has essentially been in the dark, and we are at the point that Venezuela is nothing short of a failed state.”
Both Shalala and Wasserman Schultz have introduced legislation to address the humanitarian needs in the country, but they said it may take some time and the Venezuelan people need immediate help.
“We saw on the faces of the people there real hunger and despair in the Venezuelan people,” Shalala said. “It is more than a failed state. It is, simply, a disaster.”
“A man had his eyes shot out by Maduro’s forces simply for trying to get humanitarian aid to his people,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Colombia’s public health system has been stressed after assisting Venezuelans who manage to reach the country.
“Because of the lack of immunizations in Venezuela, the Colombian people are seeing measles and other preventable diseases coming over the border,” Shalala said.
The two lawmakers also called out Cuba for sending thousands of troops to aid Maduro’s cruelties and also called out Russia and China for supporting it.
“Those enablers, including the Cuban government, the Chinese, the Russians, ought to be ashamed of themselves, and they must leave,” Shalala said. “We have no intention of giving up until Maduro has ended his vicious reign.”
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