Mayor Boria Presents the Question to a Panel on last Week in South Florida with Michael Putney
By Anne Michael-Anthony
This past Sunday, Mayor Luigi Boria was part of the panel on last Week in South Florida with Michael Putney. Together with the City of Doral’s Mayor was Dr. Jaime Suchlick from the UM Institute for Cuban-American Studies, Dr. Eduardo Gamarra, FIU Professor; and of course, Michael Putney. The topic of discussion on the table was Venezuela and more importantly, what happens next.
With the death of Chavez and the current state of Venezuela, it is natural for Americans and the world to be watching and paying close attention to what comes next. A regime change will not be easy in Venezuela, the panel agrees on this point. The Chavistas are in place and the relationship between Cuba and Venezuela is a strong one. And, for those that are not aware, the Chavez/Castro alliance was not only strong and powerful, but it is still in place. Cuban military are well in place in Venezuela and Michael Putney points out, “there are no First Amendment rights in Venezuela.” The Government controls everything and the media, therefore, images, information, data, everything is filtered, manipulated, and presented by the Chavistas which are still at a strong hold.
Dr. Eduardo Gamarra points out “In theory the President needs to step down from being in power” this is to allow for a platform and to run a campaign for an election of a new present that is fair. But, this won’t happen, the Supreme Court in Venezuela has ruled that the President does not have to step down. Again, a government-controlled Supreme Court.
How is it going to be possible that there be fair elections? How is democracy going to happen in Venezuela?
Mayor Boria emphasizes that the time is “Now”. “I want to know what is the United States of America going to do to help Venezuela?”, asks the Mayor. He goes on to explain that the time is now, this is a crucial moment in history for democracy to happen in Venezuela. Nothing will change in Venezuela if it does not get the support of the United States.
Dr. Jaime Suchlick chuckles and turns to the Mayor, “I hope you are not waiting for the help of the United States, the Cubans have been waiting for 52 years for the US to do something.” He goes on to reiterate the strong hold of the Cuban government in Venezuela and the stake that they have is very big to say the least.
Venezuela has 30-days to get a campaign in place for a new president. Cuba will not give up their power and the strong hold they have on Venezuela. The United States will not step in because this administration has shown time and time again that they are supportive of the Chavez Regime and the Chavez/Castro Alliance. This leaves everyone asking, what is next for Venezuela?
How will the First Venezuelan born Mayor of the Country proceed going forward? Will he be an Ambassador for Democracy in Venezuela or will he be simply the Mayor of the City of Doral?