The group Latinos for Trump boycotted with banners and shouts Thursday an event called by members of the Democratic Party to denounce the anti-immigration policies of the U.S. government and to demand that it extend Temporary Protected Status to the Venezuelan population.
“We protest the failure of this Administration and for it to extend TPS (Temporary Protected Status) to Venezuelans. We protest Trump’s hypocrisy in criticizing the governments of Venezuela and Cuba while he makes unprecedented efforts to deport Cubans and Venezuelans,” said Democratic Congresswoman Donna Shalala.
The event took place despite the presence of the pro-U.S. president group, hours before Trump spoke at a closed-door meeting of the Republican National Committee in Doral (Miami-Dade), precisely in one of the hotels of the chain owned by the president.
At the foot of the Freedom Tower, symbol of the first Cuban exiles and where the press conference had been called, a group of citizens held several banners in favor of Trump and launched proclamations such as “socialists, Trump haters or Jew haters”, which prevented the speech of the Democrats from being heard.
“What we are seeing here from our fellow citizens is what they call in Cuba an act of repudiation. Trying to intimidate, threaten, close people down in the same way that the Castro regime has done for 60 years to the opposition,” said former Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere Frank Mora.
Despite the boycott by Trump’s supporters, the event took place without major incidents and the police who arrived on the scene with three patrol cars were not forced to intervene.
For its part, the Democratic group also criticized that, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in his recent visit to Colombia thanked the government of President Ivan Duque for taking in two million Venezuelans displaced by the crisis in his country, here “they are denied entry into the United States and are detained and deported.
“The problem we have as Democrats with our Republican colleagues is that they like to talk about democracy, but they don’t want to talk about helping Cubans and Venezuelans who are fleeing from that system,” State Senator José Javier Rodríguez told Efe.
For this reason, Rodriguez requests that the administration begin the process to reestablish the asylum system, since “today it is impossible for Venezuelans to go through that process,” but also to establish a TPS so that Venezuelans without criminal records can stay in the country.
“I wonder if the Republicans no longer believe that there is political persecution in Cuba and if there really is persecution in Venezuela, because if they believe it, why don’t they allow the Venezuelans who are already here to stay until democracy is restored,” the Floridian senator asked.