Republican Sen. Marco Rubio spoke out against the Venezuelan government Friday at a restaurant in Doral. NBC 6's Hank Tester reports.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s surprise appearance at a Venezuelan restaurant in Doral turned into an impromptu press conference Friday as he continued to blast the Venezuelan government.
"Any government that uses the power of its own armed forces and its police to attack the people it’s supposed to be protecting becomes an illegitimate government,” Rubio said at El Arepazo 2.
The Republican earlier took to Twitter to confront Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, telling him in one tweet, “the world is watching as your militarized government murders students & repress the people of #Venezuela.”
Rubio also wrote, “@NicolasMaduro turns the armed forces of #Venezuela & his armed gangs of supporters against civilians.”
Rubio was referring to continued unrest in Venezuela, where three people were shot dead during anti-government protests.
The protesters, many of them students, denounce what they say is Maduro’s failure to control inflation and crime, and claim that the country’s young men and women face a bleak future.
The government claims the protests are a coup in the making.
"The only plot that exists in Venezuela is the plot between Havana and this government to repress the people of Venezuela,” Rubio said.
Rubio thrilled local Venezuelans who happened to be in the restaurant. Word quickly spread, and that brought the Venezuelan mayor of the heavily Venezuelan city of Doral to the restaurant.
“It’s a surprise to me too, because I didn’t expect that Senator Marco Rubio would be here, because it means a lot because it shows that they also worry about what is happening in Venezuela, and we got to do something,” Mayor Luigi Boria said.