During the 2017 Latin American Summit in Miami, Florida last October, Florida Governor Rick Scott proposed legislation that would prohibit the State of Florida and it’s agencies from doing business or investing or any company that is working with Nicolas Maduro’s government in Venezuela.
“Let me be clear- this proposal is aimed squarely at the Maduro regime – not businesses who provide much needed goods and services to the Venezuelan people. Florida continues to stand with the people of Venezuela and steadfast against any government that oppresses its people and denies freedom and human rights.”-Gov. Rick Scott at the summit last October
That state legislation, HB 359, which was sponsored by Rep. Jeanette Nunez and cosponsored by Reps. Matt Caldwell, Byron Daniels, Jay Fant, and Evan Jenne, unanimously passed in the House this week.
This is a huge foreign policy feather in Scott’s cap, as the two-term governor gears up for a senatorial run against U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D).
Nelson has been on the frontlines with Senator Marco Rubio (R) in denouncing the Maduro regime over their ongoing human rights violations, and have supported furthering new sanctions as well.
“Florida is proud to be an incredible melting pot and home to a vibrant Venezuelan population. But sadly, in recent years, we’ve seen the conditions and situation in Venezuela deteriorate because of a brutal dictator. The Maduro regime is hurting and oppressing Venezuelan families more and more each day and I have been absolutely clear that the State of Florida will not stand for it. Last year, I proposed, and the entire Florida Cabinet supported, a ban on state investments benefitting the Maduro regime.
Today, I am proud that the Florida House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of my proposal that prohibits all state agencies from investing in the oppressive Venezuelan government. I’d like to thank House Speaker Richard Corcoran, House Speaker pro tempore Jeanette Nuñez, Representative Manny Diaz and all the members who voted for this important legislation that recognizes the significant role Florida plays globally. I look forward to the Senate continuing to advance this bill and signing it into law soon.” – Governor Rick Scott
Scott will sign the bill into law once the Senate sends it his way.