Students Ask for International Support for Venezuela

Doral Councilwoman Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera held a press conference Sunday morning.

Rallies for Venezuela continued Sunday in South Florida as protesters call for an end to the violence in the Latin American country, where protests against President Nicolas Maduro have turned deadly.

Doral Councilwoman Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera held a press conference Sunday morning with new group FREEDOM Cuba-Venezuela to demand international support for the student movement in Venezuela.

Students from all nationalities stood with Rodriguez Aguilera and asked their countries' leaders to take action.

Protesters in Venezuela are upset with economic shortages and the heavy-handed response of the government to the demonstrations.

The largest concentration of Venezuelans in the U.S. resides in South Florida.

On Saturday, young Venezuelans came together in Coconut Grove to express their solidarity with the students in Venezuela in a rally that ended at Miami City Hall.

Meanwhile, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott have asked both for the U.S. government to instate sanctions against Venezuela. Rubio introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for visa bans and asset freezes against Venezuelan leaders involved in human rights violations against protesters. Scott has sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling for similar sanctions revoking the U.S. visa of anyone involved in the attacks.

Rubio discussed Venezuela on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday saying concern for the country was not enough.

"We need to say very clearly the United States, and its people and its government are firmly on the side of the ambitions and desires — the rightful desires — of the people in the streets, the students and young people protesting against these violations," he said.

The Venezuelan community is also making a push on social media, asking actors to mention Venezuela at Sunday night's Oscars ceremony. They are asking supporters to tweet messages like "The Oscars in Venezuela are televised. The repression is not. Speak up! #SOSVenezuela #OscarsForVenezuela #Oscars2014," to Oscar nominated actors.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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