Feb 22, 2019

Florida Democrats rip Sanders over Venezuela comments

Senator Bernie Sanders. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Florida Democrats are increasingly frustrated with Bernie Sanders’ unwillingness to recognize Nicolás Maduro as a dictator and accept opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president, according to a new Politico report Thursday.

Why it matters: The humanitarian and economic crises in the South American nation have dominated the political conversation in the country’s largest swing state. Republicans are seizing on the issue and President Trump, who is pushing Maduro to step aside, recently visited Miami where he sought to make inroads with Venezuelan-Americans and other Democratic-leaning Latinos who have fled Venezuela's authoritarian regime.

In Florida, where major elections have repeatedly been decided by razor-thin margins, Democrats argue that Sanders stance could hurt the party in 2020.

"He is not going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. He has demonstrated again that he does not understand this situation. I absolutely disagree with his imprecision in not saying Maduro must go."
— Rep. Donna Shalala (D), who represents Venezuelan exiles, told POLITICO.
  • State Sen. Annette Taddeo, another Miami Democrat, told Politico she's "dumbfounded" by Sanders' position.
  • Meanwhile, the Florida Democratic Party has said: "We recognize Juan Guaidó as the President of Venezuela, denounce the legitimacy of the Maduro regime and his efforts to remain illegally in power,“ Politico reports.

The big picture: Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has largely been silent on Venezuela, but he has criticized Maduro’s government on Twitter and attacked its authoritarianism and repression of democracy, while objecting to U.S. intervention.

  • As Politico notes, Venezuela hasn't yet become a key issue in the Democratic primary, though candidates like Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Elizabeth Warren have both labeled Maduro as a dictator.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about 2020 candidate Bernie Sanders

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,014,673 — Total deaths: 52,973 — Total recoveries: 210,335Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 244,678 — Total deaths: 5,911 — Total recoveries: 9,058Map.
  3. 2020 updates: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus. A federal judge declined to delay Wisconsin's April 7 primary election.
  4. Jobs latest: Coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci called for a nationwide stay-at-home order. FDA allows blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
  6. Business latest: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus.
  8. 1 future thing: In developing countries, consequences of COVID-19 could be deeper and far more difficult to recover from.
  9. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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CNN: Fauci advises all states issue stay-at-home orders

Dr. Anthony Fauci listens to President Trump speak during a briefing on April 1. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci recommended on Thursday that all states across the U.S. implement stay-at-home orders, at a CNN town hall.

Why it matters: The recommendation stands in contrast to President Trump's calls for "flexibility." Nearly 4o states have issued stay-at-home orders to promote social distancing as a way to combat the novel coronavirus — but the orders vary in strictness and duration.

Go deeperArrow38 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Novel coronavirus infections have surpassed the 1 million mark after "near exponential growth" that's reached "almost every country," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: Policy responses to the global coronavirus crisis have been every-country-for-itself and — in the case of the U.S. and China — tinged with geopolitics. But, the scientific work underway to understand the virus and develop a vaccine has been globalized on an unprecedented scale.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health