Venezuela is the new Cuba.
“I listen to this stuff about Cuba and I listen to what’s happening in Venezuela. They’re very similar — not just in the repression part, but the economics part,” Florida’s Marco Rubio explained on the U.S. Senate floor last Monday as he condemned the violence in Venezuela.
“They look more and more like Cuba economically and politically every single day.”
There’s a third similarity: Venezuela is a new way to talk about Cuba, particularly in the exilic hothouse of Florida.
For Republicans, who have watched the once-reliable Cuban-American GOP vote lean more Democratic, Venezuela provides a fresh way to remind voters about the failures of a socialist-totalitarian state. And Havana’s role in the unrest in Caracas and San Cristóbal provides a new counter to those who want to lift the embargo against Cuba.
Rubio made that case Monday. But there’s more to Rubio’s speech than merely keeping the embargo in place.