Ruth Alcalá just wants the president she twice voted for, Barack Obama, to speak forcefully about the government violence in Venezuela.
But for more than a month, she says, she and other natives of Venezuela have been “disappointed” in the administration’s relative silence, even as she gathered 1,000 signatures on a letter that calls on Obama to act -- or at least speak.
“At the least, we want to hear the president say something,” said Alcalá, a private citizen who teaches computer training in Miami.
On Monday, the 57-year-old Democrat found herself standing next to an unlikely ally: Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, who promised to personally deliver her letter to the White House and pressure Venezuela’s regime to stop cracking down on protestors.
“Mr. President, you’ve got to declare economic sanctions. You’ve got to show up,” Scott told an enthusiastic crowd of Venezuelan exiles at the Don Criollito restaurant in Kendall.
Scott contrasted Obama’s low-key Venezuela diplomacy and the president’s talks with Russia over its invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
“He cares about Ukraine. But he’s not caring about Venezuela,” Scott said.