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Guaidó's ambassador visits Miami urging TPS renewal, more refugee aid for Venezuelans

Interim Venezuelan Ambassador Carlos Vecchio (left) meeting with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava during his visit to Miami this week.
Embajada de Venezuela en los EEUU
Interim Venezuelan Ambassador Carlos Vecchio (left) meeting with Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava during his visit to Miami this week.

Carlos Vecchio said, "we need more time to include more Venezuelans" for Temporary Protected Status — and blasted Venezuela's authoritarian regime.

The representative in the U.S. for Venezuela’s political opposition visited Miami this week to push efforts to help Venezuelan expats and refugees here — and the campaign to re-democratize their home country.

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Carlos Vecchio is the ambassador to the U.S. for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó — whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela’s legitimate president, not authoritarian socialist President Nicolás Maduro.

Vecchio is visiting Miami, Houston and other U.S. cities with large Venezuelan populations to encourage more of them to take advantage of Temporary Protected Status. TPS, which President Biden granted Venezuelan expats last year, allows migrants from crisis-torn countries like Venezuela to remain legally in the U.S. for 18-month periods.

Vecchio said Guaidó is urging the Biden Administration to grant Venezuelans another 18 months after their current period ends in September.

“It’s a tremendous tool, and we are very grateful for this benefit," Vecchio told WLRN at URBE University in Doral, the U.S.'s largest Venezuelan enclave, where he met with hundreds of expats on Wednesday.

"But we need more time to include more Venezuelans.”

An especially large wave of Venezuelan migrants came to the U.S. over the southern border last year. Vecchio said Guaidó is asking that more U.S. federal aid for refugees be used to help them, possibly administered through local governments like Miami-Dade County.

He also insisted U.S. efforts to get Venezuela’s Maduro regime to return to talks with the opposition in Mexico City about holding free and fair elections have yet to see results.

“So far, the regime hasn’t sent any sign that they are willing to do a fair and transparent process," Vecchio said. "There’s no sign that Maduro is going toward that direction.”

Biden has recently signaled a willingness to ease tough U.S. sanctions on Venezuelan oil if Maduro does move in that direction.

Tim Padgett is the Americas Editor for WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. Contact Tim at tpadgett@wlrnnews.org
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