WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the following statement condemning Russia and Cuba for their continued support of dangerous dictators in Latin America who are engaged in genocide.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Russia and Cuba are directly responsible for propping up dangerous dictators, including Maduro in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua. Their insistence on supporting terrorism and genocide in Latin America disrupts international peace and security and demonstrates a blatant disregard for international law, the Charter of the United Nations, and the Monroe Doctrine. Their goal of using Maduro and his destruction of freedom in Venezuela to gain a foothold in the Western Hemisphere threatens the national security of the United States.
“We will not stand idly by while Russia and Cuba violate international law and attempt to undermine the fight for freedom and democracy. They are a threat to the safety of our nation and our world. Russia and Cuba must get out of Venezuela and Nicaragua NOW if there is to be a peaceful resolution.”
Russian involvement in Venezuela and Nicaragua:
- The arrival of two Tu-160 “White Swan” strategic bombers in Caracas in December represent a Russian intervention that disrupts international peace and security.
- Russia has helped Venezuela develop a cryptocurrency intended to evade U.S. sanctions.
- Russia has troops stationed in Venezuela that it refers to as “mechanics” and “technical support personnel” as a way of masking the introduction of foreign troops, special operatives, and mercenaries into the country.
- Russia, through state-controlled and state-allied firms, has helped transport and sell significant portions of Venezuela’s gold reserves in order to provide Maduro with cash.
- Under Maduro, Venezuela signed over almost half of Citgo as collateral to Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, for what was reported to be $1.5 billion in cash.
- Russia continues to buy Venezuelan oil from the Maduro regime and engages in joint ventures with the regime.
- Russia prevented Maduro from leaving Venezuela when the legitimate government of Juan Guaido was prepared to assume power.
- Russia has a strong alliance with Nicaragua’s dictator, Daniel Ortega.
- Russia has sold billions of dollars in weapons to Venezuela and sold 50 tanks to Nicaragua.
- Moscow has opened a facility in Nicaragua to bring the training directly to Ortega’s military.
Cuban involvement in Venezuela and Nicaragua:
- For years, Cuba has supplied thousands of operatives to run the Maduro regime’s efforts to squelch dissent, oppress the citizens of Venezuela, protect Maduro, and arm and guide the armed paramilitary gangs in the country that beat, torture, and detain Venezuelan opposition and citizens.
- Cuba has provided Maduro with temporary workers in exchange for subsidized or free oil worth billions of dollars.
- Maduro gives Cuba oil in exchange for security and military personnel to keep him in power.
- Cubans have helped train and monitor Venezuela's military officer corps for ideological loyalty.