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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

Go deeper

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after third woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.

52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump talked out of early Ohio endorsement

Jane Timken at a 2017 Trump rally. Photo: Kyle Mazza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Donald Trump had to be talked out of making an early endorsement in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, a sign of his eagerness to reengage politically, people familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

What we're hearing: The former president discussed endorsing former state GOP chair Jane Timken last week during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, but top advisers — including Donald Trump Jr. — urged him to wait.