VIDEO & PHOTO RELEASE Sen. Rick Scott Leads Colleagues, Hispanic Democracy Activists to Demand That Joe Biden to Support Freedom, Democracy & Security in Latin America

September 15, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, as the U.S. marks the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, Senator Rick Scott led his colleagues and community activists at a press conference in front of the White House to call on President Joe Biden to abandon his policy of appeasement and support the movements for freedom, democracy and security in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Colombia.


Watch the full press conference HERE. Click HERE to download b-roll. 

Senator Rick Scott said, “Joe Biden has abandoned Latin America and has chosen to appease dictators in Cuba and Venezuela. He’s supported socialist candidates in Colombia and done the bare minimum to confront Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Today, as our nation marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, I am proud to stand beside my colleagues in Congress and these brave Floridians as we renew our urgent calls for President Biden to reverse course and finally stand for freedom, democracy and security in the Western Hemisphere.


“If Joe Biden is serious about supporting freedom and democracy in Latin America, he can show that today by calling for the immediate passage of my DEMOCRACIA Act, closing the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C., re-designating FARC as a terrorist organization, blocking access to U.S. assets to anyone involved or complicit in human rights violations or corruption in Venezuela and Nicaragua, and revoking licenses to U.S. companies operating in Cuba and Venezuela. If President Biden did all five of these things today, then our hemisphere would be a safer place and the freedom movements in Latin America would be emboldened. The fight for freedom and democracy in Latin America demands the support of the United States and we won’t stop fighting to reverse Biden’s failed appeasement agenda that is standing in the way of progress and stability in our hemisphere.”


Senator Marco Rubio said, “The Biden Administration’s policy of appeasement with far-left tyrants and would-be tyrants in Latin America emboldens their grip on power, encourages drug trafficking in our region, and promotes illegal mass migration across our unsecured border. The United States, and democracies in our region, are less safe because of this administration’s desire to turn a blind eye to the needs of our hemisphere. We need real leadership and real solutions, not left-leaning policies from Marxist apologists.” 


Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart said, “The Biden Administration continues to fail those who courageously struggle for freedom, human rights, and democracy in some of the world's most oppressive environments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. In the wake of the historic July 11 protests in Cuba, and as hundreds of political prisoners still languish in prison, the administration is planning to fire as many as 30 people at the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. Additionally, for a full year, the administration has failed to allow unfettered internet access to the Cuban people to counter the regime's internet blackouts, and the administration has weakened sanctions by expanding travel, remittances, and charter flights to Cuba. The Biden Administration should cease appeasing the world's worst actors in our hemisphere, and instead stand in strong, unequivocal solidarity with the heroes risking everything to be free.”


Congressman Carlos Giménez said, “Biden has abandoned Latin America and with devastating effect. The lack of Biden’s leadership in the hemisphere is worsening our border crisis, plummeting the regional economy, and making Latin America vulnerable to nefarious actors such as China, Russia, and Iran. When our regional partners don’t find a reliable ally in the United States, one that actively works to defend freedom, democracy, and capitalism, Latin America is left with no choice but to shift leftward. We’re already seeing this dangerous shift happen in several key partners. Biden is failing Latin America. Biden is failing our hemisphere. America is less safe because of his abdication of leadership. It’s time for America to lead again in the hemisphere.”


Congresswoman María Salazar said, “President Biden is absent, weak, and refuses to lead in Latin America. He has failed to prevent the breakdown of democracy in Nicaragua, has returned to Obama’s disastrous Cuba policy, has no strategy to restore democracy to Venezuela, and is applauding the rise of a Marxist terrorist in Colombia.”


Sylvia Iriondo said “As long as the Cuban communist regime remains in power, there will be no peace, security and stability in our hemisphere.”


Rosa Maria Payá said, “We call upon President Biden to take sides with Cuban citizens who are held captive by the communist dictatorship. The failure to act has contributed to the ongoing largest migratory crisis in the regime’s history. Appeasement hasn’t stopped this threat to US national security it is time to support freedom for the Cuba People.”


Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat said, “The Cuban people are rising and they must not be abandoned!”


Ernesto Ackerman said, “For years, our organization IVAC has been sounding the alarm that just 1,600 miles from our borders in Venezuela, a union of countries that detest the United States of America, our values, Democracy and freedom, are being united. I want to thank Senator Rick Scott for organizing this important press conference at a turbulent time for the United States.”


Norma Reno said, “I want to thank Senator Scott for supporting the Venezuelan people and fighting for freedom and democracy. The Maduro regime has become more and more dangerous to the region especially now that Russia and Iran have opened operations in Venezuela.”


Muñeca Fuentes said, “The longest and darkest night of human rights violations and heinous crimes in Nicaragua started back in 1979 when the Sandinistas took over with the help of the Carter administration. Since then, thousands have died and disappeared. The Sandinistas-FSLN are a narco-terrorist organization and should be included in the list of terrorists for they are a danger to our national security.”


Fabio Andrade said, “As an American born in Colombia, we speak very loud together with Senator Scott to have FARC, a criminal group, back on the terrorist watch list.”