Once you start mixing Venezuela with Florida presidential politics, logic starts flying out the window. From the Miami Herald:
For Republicans, who have watched the once-reliable Cuban-American GOP vote lean more Democratic, Venezuela provides a fresh way to remind voters about the failures of a socialist-totalitarian state. And Havana’s role in the unrest in Caracas and San Cristóbal provides a new counter to those who want to lift the embargo against Cuba.
The fact that the embargo helped keep Fidel and Raúl Castro in power long enough to have anything to do with Venezuela in 2014 goes unmentioned. Worse, we see politicians stumbling over themselves to talk about "getting tough" with Venezuela in the exact same ways we've talked about getting tough with Cuba. That getting tough with Cuba gave more power and legitimacy to the Castro goes unmentioned.
Scott was far more strident in attacking Obama at the Friday event.
The governor excoriated the president for not pushing sanctions. Scott pointed out he raised the sanctions issue Monday at a governors meeting with Obama.
We can only hope these do not refer to the same type of blanket unilateral sanctions levied against Cuba, which of course don't work even though you can point to them as an example of how good you are at getting tough.
Unfortunately, this is inevitable. The Cuban American vote is not in lockstep with the Republican Party anymore and Venezuela provides a way to give new life to the party in Florida by also bringing Venezuelan-Americans into the fold. They want red meat and so they will likely get it.
So Venezuelans are getting their introduction to the odd contraption we call the Electoral College. The only reason this relatively small group of Venezuelan- and Cuban-Americans matter is that the state of Florida has 29 electoral votes, which is 10.7% of the total needed to win election to the presidency of the United States. If the Venezuelan protests matter to politically active and wealthy Floridians, then it has to matter to presidential candidates as well.