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Hundreds gather in Miami to hear Venezuela’s interim president speak

Supporters hope Juan Guaido is able to meet with President Trump during visit

MIAMI – Venezuela's Interim President Juan Guaido made a South Florida stop Saturday and hundreds of people showed up to see him.

Several local and state leaders surrounded Guaido as he took the stage at the Miami Airport Convention Center.

Hundreds of supporters gathered there hours before he arrived.

They hope he will be the leadership the country of Venezuela needs to free them from the Nicolas Maduro regime.

Guaido’s supporters sang Venezuela’s national anthem followed by chants of “freedom.”

“Today we can lift ourselves up. Today we can move forward. Today that we are together,” Guaido said in Spanish.

Guaido was surrounded by federal, state and local leaders, including U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla), Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla).

Guaido wrapped up his international tour in Miami on Super Bowl weekend, but the question on the minds of supporters is will he be meeting with President Trump, who arrived to Mar-a-Lago late Friday night?

“I wish that President Trump could meet with Guaido and maybe pressure more,” Guaido supporter Maria Brant said.

“We know the communication has been there. We know the support has been there, but this will give us relief,” another supporter, Ronald Cisneros, said.

Venezuela has been a top priority in Latin America for the Trump administration, which was the first among nearly 60 governments to back Guaido, calling Maduro a dictator.

But despite U.S. sanctions and mass anti-government protests, Maduro remains in control.

“I think that with the help if the United States and all the countries we can get rid of the revolution,” Brant said.

Supporters rallied inside the convention center, declaring Guaido to be their rightful leader.

Many hope the young, first viable challenger to Maduro will help end the crisis in Venezuela where there are shortages of reliable water, food, electricity, gas and medical care.

“Guaido represents our freedom. Guaido represents a presidency in a democratic country,” Brant said.

Sources said a Trump-Guaido meeting is under consideration, but there’s still no word if it will take place and where.


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