A recent public opinion poll conducted by Florida International University (FIU), provided some insights into the relationship between the United States and the Florida Venezuela community and focused on whether the U.S. economic sanctions levied on the Nicolas Maduro regime have been effective.
FIU’s Latino Public Opinion Forum polled the thoughts held by Venezuelans who are registered to vote in the United States.
Interestingly enough, the survey found that 54% of Venezuelan Americans think that sanctions on the Maduro regime have not moved the nation toward democracy while only one-third believe that sanctions have been positive.
Additionally, 56% of respondents believe that economic sanctions have moved Venezuela and its leadership toward non-democratic countries and strengthened its relationship with the adversaries of the United States, particularly Russia, China, and Iran.
The author of the survey, Dr. Eduardo Gamarra, said he was “surprised” that most Venezuelans in Florida believe that sanctions have been ineffective. “I expected Venezuelans in Florida to be very hard-line in terms of their views on sanctions,” said Dr. Gamarra. “It surprised me that a majority of respondents believe sanctions have been ineffective overall and they have negatively impacted the Venezuelan people.”
In addition, however, the survey shows that a majority of respondents still want the U.S. to “maintain or increase U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.”
These sanctions were established against Maduro's dictatorial regime under former President Donald Trump (R) and maintained by President Joe Biden (D).
Dr. Gamarra says this probably stems from the public’s belief “that there are no other alternatives to deal with Venezuela but sanctions,” adding, “the U.S. has not had a comprehensive and ‘real’ Venezuela policy for the past 20 years; the only tool in its foreign policy arsenal has been monolithic: sanctions. Therefore, absent of a strategy, they turn to the only thing they know.”
Gamarra believes that the collapse of the Venezuelan economy has resulted from a “combination of sanctions and pure corruption and mismanagement,” adding, “sanctions, especially in the oil sector, have really contributed to bringing down the Venezuelan economy and as a result, have had more of an impact on the population than on the regime itself.”
Venezuelan Dictator Nicolas Maduro has until November 30th to establish a process to reinstate opposition leader Maria Corina Machado as a candidate in the upcoming 2024 Venezuelan elections.
The deadline was set by the Biden administration in exchange for partially lifting economic sanctions maintained against Venezuela, as reported by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres.
The US government has said it will reinstate sanctions if Maduro does not comply.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called for the US to backtrack sanctions relief given Venezuela’s recent actions.