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Doral mayor asks Rep. Joe Garcia to return contributions from supporter with Venezuela ties

@PatriciaMazzei

Doral Mayor Luigi Boria and a group of Venezuelans in Miami have asked U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia to return political campaign contributions from a former congressman with ties to President Nicolás Maduro's government.

Boria and seven others mailed Garcia a letter last week imploring him to give back $2,500 from Bill Delahunt, a fellow Democrat and longtime friend of Garcia's. Delahunt, of Massachusetts, is now a lobbyist.

"We see that you have received campaign funds drenched with the blood of our Venezuelan brothers..." an emailed version of the letter says in Spanish. 

Delahunt once brokered a deal with the late President Hugo Chávez to bring discounted Venezuelan heating oil to Massachusetts. He attended Chávez's funeral last year and has met with Maduro.

Garcia has dismissed requests that he return the money from Delahunt, a friend and longtime supporter. 

"The South Florida Delegation has found rare, bi-partisan support for the struggle of freedom in Venezuela," Garcia said in a statement Tuesday. "To use the suffering of these innocent people to score cheap political points is reprehensible."

Despite signing the letter, Boria praised Garcia's efforts to grant more political asylum applications and halt deportations of Venezuelans, as well as seek sanctions against the Venezuelan government.

"I think what he's doing for Venezuelans is excellent," Boria said. "It's what all members of Congress should be doing." 

Boria said that while he didn't physically sign the letter, he gave its author, Ernesto Ackerman, his support to ask Garcia to return the money from Delahunt.

"This gentleman has identified himself as a chavista," Boria said, using the term for Chávez's supporters.

Delahunt could not be immediately reached for comment.

One of Garcia's potential Republican challengers, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, called on the congressman to return the contributions two weeks ago, shortly after deadly protests erupted in Venezuela.

Garcia and his supporters have dismissed Curbelo's attack as an off-base attempt to play partisan politics with the Venezuelan crisis.

Read the letter, in Spanish, below.

Miami 02/24/2014

Estimado Congresista Joe Garcia,

Los abajo firmantes miembros de la comunidad de Venezolanos en Miami, respetuosamente nos dijimos a Ud. en esta oportunidad para solicitarle encarecidamente que se sirva Ud. devolver las donaciones recibidas de personajes nefasto que conviven con nosotros en este Pais sin importarles lo que estas personas estén sufriendo por gobiernos narco-dictatoriales de Latinoamérica.

Vemos que ha recibido Ud. fondos para su campaña que vienen impregnados con sangre de nuestros hermanos Venezolanos, los fondos a los que nos referimos fueron donados por el ex congresista Bill Delahunt, quien fue un gran admirador del difunto Dictador Hugo Chavez Frias y de quien no dudaríamos debe haber recibido fuertes sumas de dinero.

En noviembre de 2005, se reunió con el presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez para organizar un programa de asistencia en el cual Venezuela suministraría fuel-oil en una reducción de precio un 40 por ciento a miles de residentes de bajos ingresos Massachusetts en invierno. El programa que robaron de los Venezolanos subsidio a 500.000 personas en todo el U.S., se llevó a cabo mediante la empresa Citgo propiedad de todos los Venezolanos no del Sr Chavez y trajo acusaciones graves que Delahunt asistía a un líder anti-estadounidense. También asistió al funeral del Dictador en representación de los Estados Unidos debido a su acérrima amistad con el difunto.

Es por esta razón que desearíamos que Ud. devolviera estos fondos como muestra de solidaridad con los hechos sangrientos que están sucediendo en nuestra querida patria y se distancie Ud. de amigos de las huestes que tanto daño nos han hecho.

Atte.,

Ernesto Ackerman
Isilio Arriaga
Luigi Boria
Adolfo Fassrainer
Pedro Gonzalez
Cristina Gonzalez
Martha Lopez
Gianfranco Puppio

Comments

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ed jenkins

The citizens have long requested that the soon to be indicted Garcia resign so they can be represented by an upstanding citizen. The doral mayor should demand his resignation, not just a return of some more improperly gained funds.

Bill Thompson

The citizens agree with Mayor Boria in praising Joe Garcia's efforts to grant more political asylum applications and halt deportations of Venezuelans, as well as seek sanctions against the Venezuelan government.

"I think what he's doing for Venezuelans is excellent," Boria said. "It's what all members of Congress should be doing."

Humberto

Keep up the good work Joe! Take the high road above the crazies in Doral. Joe Garcia has been an excellent representative of the diverse people of S. Florida. We all look forward to his re-election and continued service for many years in the future.

El Perro

Oh! The drama. What a bunch of kooks. Venezuelan Republicans using the conflict in Venezuela for election campaign purposes is nasty and really low class. Luigi is just an bumbling,incompetent ass.

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