Tampa Bay Times
Letters to the Editor
May 21, 2019

Scott’s reckless Venezuela rhetoric | Editorial, May 17

Why Venezuela is a genocide

The Holocaust is much more than a history lesson — it is a stark reminder that evil exists, and sometimes thrives, in the world. I took my two daughters to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau to teach them this firsthand. We must always remain ready to confront hatred and bigotry in all forms. Every generation must heed the call to action in the face of evil. This is the Holocaust’s enduring lesson to mankind.

Right now, we’re face to face with evil. Nicolas Maduro is starving and terrorizing the Venezuelan people. Tens of thousands of men, women and children are dying at the hands of this ruthless dictator. There is not a word strong enough to describe the horror I saw when I traveled to the Colombian-Venezuelan border. I saw children starving to death, families traveling hours into Colombia just for a meal.

It was your editorial board that chose to invoke the horrors of the Holocaust. I would not make that comparison. Though certainly not comparable to the Holocaust, what’s happening in Venezuela is a genocide, and denying what’s right in front of us only gives Maduro more power. But if we allow Maduro to stay in Venezuela, we will not only allow the murder of young children to continue, but we will also have a Syria on our doorstep — and a serious national security threat in our hemisphere.

Words do matter. I’ve called the crisis in Venezuela a genocide, because it is. But call it whatever you want; Maduro is intentionally killing people so he can hold on to power. How many kids need to starve to death at the hands of Maduro for the Tampa Bay Times to decide it’s a genocide? This is a fight for humanity. This is a fight for the Venezuelan people and a fight for America’s security. If we do not act to support those fighting for freedom, we’ve lost.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Washington, D.C.

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