tv President Trumps Remarks to Venezuelan American Community in Miami CSPAN February 19, 2019 2:42am-3:24am EST
tribune page. be sure to watch "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. remarksr: tomorrow, from former treasury secretary jack lew on the impact of sanctions. he served as treasury secretary from 2013 to 2017 during the obama administration. he speaks live tuesday at the atlantic council. that begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. at the same hour, air force to pilot gives a keynote speech on his branch's strategy funding,, and personnel needs. he will speak at the brookings institution tomorrow on c-span2. then a discussion on u.s. plans to withdraw from afghanistan, and how that decision could impact stability in the region. that event is hosted by the center for the national interest, live at 10:15 eastern on c-span.
i am proud to be here with you in the united states of america as your first lady. many of you in the room know what it feels like to be blessed with freedom after living under the oppression of socialism and communism. in venezuela, the people are on the brink of reclaiming their own liberty. today, we must let the venezuelan people hear us as one voice tonight. there is hope. we are free, and we pray together loudly and proudly that soon, the people of venezuela will be free, as well. [applause] my husband is here today because he cares deeply about the current suffering in venezuela.
this afternoon, he has an important message to share. ladies and gentlemen, it is now my pleasure to introduce my husband, the president of the united states, donald j. trump. [applause] president trump: thank you very much, melania. america is truly blessed to have such an extraordinary first lady.
she's extraordinary, she is. she cares about people. hello, miami. i am thrilled to be back in the state i love, with so many proud, freedom loving patriots. we are here to proclaim a new day is coming in latin america. it is coming. in venezuela and across the western hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity, and democracy are being reborn. today, our hearts are filled with hope because of the determination of millions of every day venezuelans. the patriotism of the venezuelan national assembly and the
incredible courage of interim president juan guaido. the people of venezuela are standing for freedom and democracy and the united states of america is standing right by their side. let me begin by thanking the great leaders here today who have been such incredible champions for the cause of liberty. these people love you and they love venezuela and they love cuba and they love all of the places we are from. newly elected and already doing an incredible job, governor ron desantis. [applause]
a man who i call especially when we are talking about cuba, venezuela, nicaragua. he knows a lot. your friend and mine, senator marco rubio. a great governor, he gave ron a little bit of a head start. he did a fantastic job in florida. former governor and now senator rick scott. somebody that i have gotten to know very well, especially as to the fact that my heart is in venezuela, representative mario diaz-balart. ambassador, the lieutenant governor, your new
and great attorney general, and to so many other dedicated public officials in this room right now, we thank you very much for being with us. thank you. thank you also to secretary of commerce wilbur ross, who is with us, and ambassador like hauser -- lighthizer. he just got from -- got back from a place called china, and boy oh boy, we are making a lot of progress. nobody expected this would be happening. we are making a lot of progress. in the meantime, billions and billions of dollars are coming into our treasury.
it is very simple. that never happened before. we don't know the feeling in this country, but now we know the feeling. we also want to extend our deep appreciation to the president of florida international university, for hosting this important event. finally, i want to thank each and every person in this wonderful audience who has made your own stand for human dignity, and that is probably just about all of you. and i want to especially thank the venezuelan exile community that has done so much to support president guaido, to organize aid for their compatriots, and to do just a lot act home. thank you very much for being here. thank you. we are with you.
we are profoundly grateful to every dissident, every exile, every political prisoner, and everyone who bears witness to the horrors and socialism and communism, and who has bravely spoken out against them. thank you very much. the fact is, you have seen the crimes and you have seen the corruption. you have seen the hunger and the suffering. you have heard the anguished pleas for help. you have protested and protested with respect, but loudly. and you have prayed for the day we can now see, which is just ahead, the day when all of the people of this region will at last be free. [applause]
president trump: as we meet today, the people of venezuela stand at the threshold of history, ready to reclaim their country and to reclaim their future. not long ago, venezuela was the wealthiest nation by far in south america. but years of socialist rule have brought this once thriving nation to the brink of ruin. that is where it is today. the term radical socialist government, nationalized private industry, and they engaged in massive wealth confiscation, shut down free markets, suppressed free speech and set up a relentless propaganda
machine, rigged elections, used the government to persecute their political opponents, and destroyed the impartial rule of law. in other words, the socialists have done in venezuela all of the same things that socialist, communists, totalitarians have done everywhere that they have had a chance to rule. the results have been catastrophic. almost 90% of venezuelans now live in poverty. in 2018, hyperinflation in venezuela exceeded 1,000,000%. crippling shortages of food and medicine plague the country.
socialism has so completely ravaged this great country that even the world's largest reserves of oil are no longer enough to keep the lights on. this will never happen to us. [applause] president trump: already, more than 3 million venezuelans have fled maduro's route all -- brutal opposition. today, we are honored to be joined by the mother of oscar
perez, a courageous venezuelan police officer. you know the story. in june of 2017, oscar piloted a helicopter over the city with the banner, 350 liberty, a reference to article 350 of the venezuelan constitution, which states, the people of venezuela shall disown any regime, legislation, or authority that violates democratic values or encroaches upon human rights. oscar said he wanted to give the people hope. he loved the people. he fought for the people. and they loved oscar. but oscar was gunned down and killed by venezuela. you all know the story.
president trump: i don't know what she said, but i think i know what she said. [laughter] president trump: she is an incredible woman. oscar was an incredible man who will not have died in vain. [applause] pres. trump: a few weeks ago, on january 23, venezuela's national assembly invoked the venezuelan constitution to declare the president of the national assembly, juan guaido, as the country's legitimate leader.
in one of his first acts, president guaido invoked the same constitution that oscar carried through the skies to notify the world that maduro was illegitimate. within 30 minutes, the united states was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize president guaido. [applause] pres. trump: by the way, john bolton is here. where is he? working hard. today, more than 50 countries around the world now recognize the rightful government of venezuela and the venezuelan people have spoken and the world has heard their beautiful voice. they are turning the page on socialism, turning the page on dictatorship, and there will be no going back. [applause]
president trump: peaceloving nations are ready to help venezuela reclaim its democracy, dignity, and destiny. all of the nations in our hemisphere have the shared interest in preventing the spread of socialism. socialism by nature does not respect borders. it does not respect boundaries or the sovereign rights of its citizens or neighbors. it is always seeking to expand, to encroach, and to subjugate others to its will. the twilight hour of socialism has arrived in our hemisphere. and frankly, in many, many places around the world. the days of socialism and communism are numbered, not only
in venezuela but in nicaragua and cuba, as well. [applause] pres. trump: do we love cuba? [applause] pres. trump: do we love nicaragua? [applause] pres. trump: great country. such great potential. remember that word, some unbelievable potential. in the meantime, we much -- must work together to and a humanitarian disaster. there are truckloads filled with tons of desperately needed humanitarian supplies stopped at the borders of venezuela, waiting to help the millions and millions in need. two days ago, the first u.s. air force c-17, that is a big,
beautiful plane, landed in colombia with thousands of nutrition kits for little venezuelan children. [applause] pres. trump: unfortunately, dictator maduro has blocked this life-saving aid from entering the country. he would rather see his people starve then give them aid, then help them. millions of venezuelans are starving and suffering while a small handful at the top of the maduro regime plunder the nation into poverty and into death. we know who they are, and we know where they keep the millions of dollars they have stolen. incredibly, there are members of
the venezuelan military still barely supporting this failed dictatorship. they are risking their future. they are risking their lives, and venezuela's future, for a man controlled by the cuban military and protected by a private army of cuban soldiers. maduro is not the venezuelan patriot. he is a cuban puppet. that is what he is. [applause] pres. trump: and remember that hundreds of millions of dollars used to be paid to cuba, but no longer, because they no longer have that kind of wealth to be able to do it.
so things are changing, and they are changing fast. and today, i have a message for every official who is helping to keep maduro in place. the eyes of the entire world are upon you today, every day, and every day in the future. you cannot hide from the choice that now confronts you. you can choose to accept president juan guaido's offer of amnesty to live your life in peace with your families and your countrymen. president guaido doesn't secret -- seek retribution against you and neither do we. but you must not follow maduro's orders to block humanitarian aid and you must not threaten any form of violence against peaceful protesters, opposition leaders, members of the national
assembly, or president guaido and his family. we seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open. [applause] pres. trump: we want to restore venezuelan democracy, and we believe that the venezuelan military and its leadership have a vital role to play in this process. if you choose this path, you have the opportunity to help forge a safe and prosperous future for all of the people of venezuela. or, you could choose the second path. continuing to support maduro. if you choose this path, you
will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, and no way out. you will lose everything. [applause] pres. trump: so today, i ask every member of the maduro regime, end this nightmare of poverty, hunger, and death. let your people go. set your country free. now is the time for all venezuelan patriots to act together as one united people. [applause] pres. trump: nothing could be better for the future of venezuela, and nothing could be better for the future of another captive nation. cuba, then the rebirth of freedom and democracy in venezuela.
pres. trump: this is a much different day, and those days are over. [applause] pres. trump: the ugly alliance between the two dictatorships is coming to a rapid end. a new future is beginning. all of us in this arena, and thousands and thousands and thousands of people outside, you have to see it, are united because we know the truth about socialism. in venezuela, in cuba, and all around the world. [applause] socialism promises prosperity but it delivers poverty. socialism promises unity but it delivers hatred and division. socialism promises a better future but it always returns to the darkest chapters of the
past. that never fails. it always happens. socialism is a sad and discreditted ideology rooted in the total ignorance of history and human nature, which is why socialism eventually must always give rise to tyranny, which it does. [applause] socialists profess a love of diversity, but they always insist on absolute conformity. we know that socialism is not about justice. it's not about equality. it's not about lifting up the poor. socialism is about one thing only -- power for the ruling class. [applause]
and the more power they get, the more they prey. they want to run health care, run transportation and finance, run energy, education, run everything. they want the power to decide who wins and who loses. who's up and who's down. what's true and what's false. and even who lives and who dies. [applause] pres. trump: in short, all of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism. everywhere and anywhere it appears socialism advances under the banner of progress but in the end it delivers only corruption, exploitation, and decay. with us today is david smolansky.
[applause] pres. trump: david was one of the youngest mayors in venezuelan history when the maduro regime removed him from office and issued a warrant for his arrest. david fled into venezuela's treacherous southern jungle. eventually david reached brazil where he was welcomed with open arms. today, david lives in exile in the united states where he continues to speak up for the venezuelan people. sadly, david is the third generation of his family to flee the agony of socialism and communism. david's grandparents fled to the soviet union in 1927 and his father fled communist cuba in 1970. as david said, the difference i want to have for my father and
my grandfather is to go back to my country, my grandparents never went back. my father has not been back to havana. i hope i can soon return to venezuela. [applause] pres. trump: i think that will happen, david. [applause] thank you very much, david. i think it'll soon happen. your courage, david, is an inspiration. and not only, david, many of the people in this room, you've been through much but you see it coming to the end. you see it really coming to an end for the first time, for the first time you're seeing it because the united states, a true great nation, is behind you. [applause] [chanting "u.s.a.!"]
pres. trump: and so is the united states, as the united states stands up for democracy in venezuela we reaffirm the solidarity with the long suffering people of cuba and nicaragua and people everywhere living under socialist and communist regimes. and to those who would try to impose socialism on the united states, we again deliver a very simple message. america will never be a socialist country. [cheers and applause]
pres. trump: we are born free and we will stay free now and forever. [loud cheering] pres. trump: we know what freedom can do in venezuela because we have seen that future right here in dural. we know what freedom can do in cuba because we have seen that future right here in miami. [cheering] pres. trump: we know what freedom can do in nicaragua because we have seen that future in sweet water. [cheering] and one day soon with god's help we are going to see what the people will do in caracas and managua and havana.
[cheering] pres. trump: and when venezuela is free and cuba is free and nicaragua is free, this will become the first free hemisphere in all of human history. [loud cheering and applause] it was my great honor to be with you today and the first lady's great honor to be with you today. we are winning. we are winning on every front. thank you. god bless you. god bless the people of venezuela. god bless the people of cuba. god bless the people of nicaragua. and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. [cheering and applause]
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uses of radio and podcasts. from a seniorks judge on corporate scandals and accountability at stanford university. he serves on the u.s. district court for the southern district of new york and was joined by investment officers and reporters. >> ok. i am a professor of finance and economics and faculty director at the g.s.b. engaging the community and others on issues that we think are truly important is a key mission. i want to welcome all of you and thank you for joining us and i would especially like to thank our panelists who flew in to participate in this event. also i want to recognize and thank dean john levin for supporting this initiative and for being here today.