CARACAS - During his speech at the United Nations' General Assembly Tuesday, President Donald Trump prioritized the crisis in Venezuelan and said the situation was unacceptable.
Trump asked worldwide leaders to join him in his efforts to issue sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, as he persists on a path to destroy democratic institutions and impose authoritarian rule.
"The Venezuelan people are starving and their country is collapsing," Trump said.
Trump said other leaders shouldn't stand by and watch. Instead, he said, they should be prepared to do more. Maduro didn't attend the meeting, but Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who was there in his place, condemned Trump's statement.
Maduro reacted Tuesday afternoon and said Trump was "the new Hitler of international politics" and said he was dividing the U.S. with a view of racial supremacy. Maduro did not mention the food and medicine shortages, the street protest, the Venezuelan exodus or the country's triple-digit inflation.
"Nobody threatens Venezuela and nobody owns Venezuela," Maduro said.
Maduro faced worldwide condemnation for the methods he has used to neutralize political opponents. In March, there were massive street protests after the Venezuelan Supreme Court, an institution loyal to Maduro, decided to take powers away from the democratically-elected members of congress.
After a brutal military effort against protesters -- who were in their majority demonstrating peaceful dissent -- there were many political prisoners reporting abuses of human rights. Maduro set up an election that was under investigation for fraud. His administration stacked loyal members of the socialist party in a new powerful legislative body.
South Florida continues to witness the Venezuelan exodus forcing attorneys and other professionals to turn to setting up small businesses and meager jobs to make ends meet. Those who were unable to afford a trip to Miami are finding refuge in other countries in Central and South America.
Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.