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Challenger Carlos Curbelo, Rep. Joe Garcia trade jabs on ties to Venezuela, gambling


Republican congressional candidate Carlos Curbelo this week called on Miami Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia to return political campaign contributions from a longtime supporter who has had personal relationships in the Venezuelan government.

With violent street clashes taking place in the South American country since last week, Curbelo condemned Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s actions and offered his support to student protesters.

Garcia has said much of the same, as have other local members of Congress.

But Curbelo tried to characterize Garcia as hypocritical for accepting contributions from Bill Delahunt, a former Massachusetts Democratic congressman.

“Regrettably, there are congressmen like Joe Garcia who advocate for freedom in Miami while accepting campaign cash from the apologists and defenders of the Maduro regime in Washington,” Curbelo said in a statement.

Garcia and Curbelo are both Cuban American, but Florida’s 26th congressional district, which extends from Kendall to Key West, has a robust population of non-Cuban Hispanic voters — many of them South Americans more interested in Venezuela than in Cuba.

More here.