Jul 10, 2020
Donald Trump Roundtable Meeting Transcript on Venezuela July 10
Donald Trump took part in a roundtable discussion on Venezuela. He vowed to “fight for Venezuelans” at his visit to US Southern Command in Florida. Read the full transcript here.
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President Donald Trump: (00:00)
But thank you very much. Great job. And he recovered successfully. He was positive. He tested positive. I heard about it. I wasn’t thrilled, but he fought it out. Somebody said his immune system must’ve been good. It wasn’t perfect, but you still went through a little bit, right?
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: (00:15)
Speaker 1: (00:16)
But you did a great job. Thank you very much.
President Donald Trump: (00:19)
Well, my administration as you know, it stands with every citizen of Venezuelan and Cuban, Nicaragua. It stands with the righteous struggle for freedom. The patriots here today fled socialism to find freedom and socialism and other things, as you know, and a step beyond socialism in many cases. And now Joe Biden and the radical left are trying to impose the same system, socialism plus, in America. Biden is a puppet of Bernie Sanders, AOC, the militant left, the people that want to rip down statues and monuments to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Jesus. Jesus. They want to rip down statues to Jesus. So we’re dealing with a group of people that they will not win. They will not win at all.
President Donald Trump: (01:11)
But this election coming up is a very important one. I used to say 2016, the most important. And maybe I’ll still say that, but this is equal to that. This is equal because we need that extra time to have it seed. Like a tree, you move it, it has to grab on. And that’s why I appreciate you’re all being your great leaders. And I appreciate you being here. Nobody will be safe in a Biden America, but Biden doesn’t know what a Biden America is. If you asked him to define it, he wouldn’t even know what it is, but other people do. And he will have radical people running that. He’ll be choosing a vice president who, we’ll see what that ends up being, but he’ll be choosing somebody. But even that person won’t have as much to do with running the country as you’d believe.
President Donald Trump: (01:58)
Biden wants to defund the police. He wants to call the cops the enemy, which he did the other day leaving every citizen at the mercy of a socialist mob or a mob far worse than socialism was ever meant to be. I’m fighting against this horrible situation. I’m fighting and I’m fighting hard. And I want the Republicans to get strong and tough. And I want people that agree with me on the Democrat side, of which there are many, I think we’re going to have a tremendous Democrat surge. In the real polls, we’re doing very well. We reviewed polls this morning with different states. We’re doing very well.
President Donald Trump: (02:37)
By the way, you’ll be happy to know in the state of Florida, we’re doing great. You see the boaters out there, thousands and thousands of boats every weekend. And we appreciate it, but nobody’s seen anything like it ever. And we have that in many other states with boaters and bikers and everybody. There’s a spirit that nobody’s ever seen. I don’t think we had anything like this even in the 2016 race because they see what happened. We built the greatest economy in the history of our world. Greater than anything we’ve had, but greater than anything the world has ever seen. China was not doing well. China went down to the worst. It was the worst year they had in 67 years. This is before the plague came into China, virus came in. And the worst economy they had in 67 years. They were doing not well with the tariffs and all the other. We’re taking billions of dollars from China. I was giving it to farmers and giving it to people that were targeted. And we were doing great and then the plague came in. I said, “Oh, there’s the plague. The plague is coming in.” And we closed our borders to China, very heavily infected. And we did the ban. And if we didn’t do that, we would have had hundreds of thousands of more people dead. And then we did the ban to Europe because we saw what was happening with Italy and Spain and some others, many others. And we were ahead. But we’re still fighting it, and we’re going to do very well. We’re testing at a level that nobody’s ever tested before. We’re making ventilators for the world. We literally had no ventilators and now we’re making thousands of ventilators a month. Thousands, thousands, and thousands. And we’re helping other countries.
President Donald Trump: (04:13)
We’re giving, as an example, to Mexico. We’ve given 600 ventilators and they desperately needed them. The president of Mexico was up at the White House two days ago and he is a great guy, the president. We had a tremendous day and evening. We had dinner with a lot of the real leadership of Mexico and it was a fantastic thing. And a lot of people didn’t think we would get along and it was just the opposite. We were joking about it a little bit. People thought maybe we’re very different type people, but we’re not really. We got along great. So the relationship with Mexico and the United States is very strong. We just signed the USMCA, which is tremendous. We had a horrible, horrible situation with NAFTA. It was the worst trade deal I think probably ever made. And now we have a great trade deal for the United States that also it’s very fair to Canada and to Mexico. So that’s good.
President Donald Trump: (05:10)
We imposed historic sanctions on the Maduro regime. We indicted Maduro for narco terrorism as you know, everybody here knows. We’re standing with the righteous and rightful leaders of Venezuela. This time it Juan Guaido. We impose sanctions on Nicaragua for human rights violations. They’ve been violating a lot of human rights. A lot of very bad things are happening in Nicaragua. And I ended the Obama-Biden sellout to the Castro regime in Cuba. We’ve been very strong on Cuba. Cuba is not doing so well. Joe Biden has pledged to reinstate the pro-communist policies of the Obama-Biden administration. They were pro-communist policies. The deal we made with Cuba was ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. What he did for Cuba and what they did for Cuba is ridiculous. And I guess it’s why the Cubans gave me the Bay of Pigs Award just before the last election. If you remember, I got the Bay of Pigs Award, which was a great honor. I have it very proudly in my office.
President Donald Trump: (06:16)
Republicans are the party of freedom. Democrats are the party of socialism and worse that’s what’s happened. The Democrat party is a whole different deal. They tear down the monuments and they think it’s good. Nancy Pelosi made the statement, “Well, that’s okay. That’s no big deal.” And the reason she said that she has no control over it. She didn’t say it because she really believed it. She said it because she has absolutely no control over what these people are doing and we do. We do. We were going to go into Seattle. We were all set to move and then they heard that we were and the police came out and they did what they should have done weeks before. So we got that done.
President Donald Trump: (06:55)
Minneapolis, same thing. We said, “You got to send in the national guards after four days of ridiculous, no law enforcement.” We demanded that the National Guard be sent in, and the minute it was sent in, it all ended. They walked through the streets like a knife goes through butter. It was pretty amazing. Now what we’re doing is in Portland, we have a very radicalized group and we have it so under control. We have an under control. The local police have not done the job. I think they were told not to do a job, but we have it very much under control. We’re taking very strong measures and we’re looking at other places too. When you see what’s going on in some of these Democrat run cities, all Democrat run cities in every case, and they’re to hell. And we’re doing a lot of things to get that changed. And we’re going to get it changed very quickly.
President Donald Trump: (07:49)
So I’d like to ask our great Congressman to say a few words if he would. He understands the situation. He loves this area very much. He will constantly call me. And if I can’t get back to him immediately, he’ll call me again because he wants money coming here and he wants a lot of other things coming here. And that’s the way a good Congressman supposed to be. Right? And he’s not a good Congressman, he’s a great Congressman. So if you would please, Mario.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: (08:14)
Mr. President, thank you. If I ever can’t get ahold of you, I then harass Mark Meadows who’s was an amazing, an amazing asset to our country. So let me first to our friends here, the president, we just came back from SOUTHCOM. All of us in this community have known, Mr. President, for years that there’s drugs coming in that out people see coming in. And yet, because of lack of assets, frankly, lack of leadership, not supplying the assets, we can’t stop them. And so this president has done this surge to SOUTHCOM to stop those narcotics from coming in. And I don’t know of anything that could be done as quickly to actually save American lives as the initiative that the president has started a little while ago, and it’s already bearing fruit. So Mr. President, thank you for visiting the heroes here at Southern Command, but more importantly for recognizing a threat to our national security and to the lives of our people and confronting it not with lip service, but with action. So first, I want to thank you for that.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: (09:28)
Second, we’re here with friends who understand, unfortunately, what socialism is all about. We have a daughter of a martyr who was murdered by the Castro regime. We have individuals here who understand that the situation in Venezuela, in Nicaragua and in Cuba is not only disastrous for those people, but as you have stated so many times, it is a danger, a threat to the national security interests of the United States. I said it before that this administration has emphasized this hemisphere, but it’s emphasized it in support for the cause of freedom, not solidarity with those who repress their people. It has shown solidarity with the people, not the oppressors of those people by what the president just talked about sanctions and tough pressure and diplomacy and leadership.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart: (10:31)
Mr. President, on behalf of the folks that I represent and I’m honored to represent, thank you. Those actions are not small. The impact on our national security is huge. The impact on the millions of people who are suffering who now have hope is a measurable history rule record you as the president who freed this hemisphere from communism and socialism. Those regimes will not last another four years of President Trump. I’m convinced of it. And you’ve seen that others are saying, “Oh, we’re going to go back to the policy of recognizing, legitimizing.” Legitimizing the Castro regime knowing what they’re doing in Venezuela and in Nicaragua and in the hemisphere. That’s unacceptable. So I just, again, on behalf of the folks that I represent, thank you for standing up for our national security interest, for freedom and for your solidarity for those who are working and struggling and in many cases dying just to regain their freedoms. Thank you, Mr. President.
President Donald Trump: (11:50)
Thank you very much, Mario. Appreciate it. Great job you do. How about we go down the line, please.
Ernesto Ackerman: (12:01)
Thank you President Trump for having me here today and letting me express my feelings about my homeland, Venezuela. I am proud to be here with so many prominent friends, Orlando, John, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, [foreign language 00:12:19].
Ernesto Ackerman: (12:23)
My name is Ernesto Ackerman. I’m the president of Independent Venezuelan American Citizens, more known as IVAC. My organization has worked over 18 years very hard lobbying in favor of Venezuelans in Congress of the US. And we were the first ones to work with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and my congressional brother, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart to achieve the law of sanctions against the narco terrorists in Venezuela. I am the son of a concentration camp survival. She is currently 96, 97 years old living still in Venezuela. I think that she feels that she is again reliving her time in a concentration camp. I left Venezuela in 1989, and only 45 days after the rallies that were called El Caracazo, very similar to what happened here some weeks ago. The excuse in Venezuela was gasoline. Was it here, George Floyd?
Ernesto Ackerman: (13:36)
Then in 1998 came the elections and Chavez was elected president of Venezuela. They started by controlling the weapons and ammunition that people could have. Is that similar to eliminate our Second Amendment? Then came changes in the police. For example, all the police in the municipalities, [foreign language 00:13:58] as an example, became [foreign language 00:14:03], and the [foreign language 00:14:04]. Is that what means defend the police? Then from being the richest country in the region, today we are the poorest. No medicine, no food, and somethings so essential like drinking water. That is what socialism brings to our nation.
Ernesto Ackerman: (14:27)
I became a citizen of this great country in the year 2000. I have a wonderful wife, three daughters, one of which is an ex police officer, and four grandchild. What future would they have in socialism? That is why, Mr. President, being a proud American, I will work hard to prevent socialism from penetrating this great country and count with me to support, to achieve it. Mr. President, that’s why today I want to make you two requests. First, that we eliminate the germ of socialism from this, it’s essence in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, et cetera. And second, help the people of Venezuela to get rid of the narco terrorists who have kidnapped our nation. They alone cannot do it. The countries of the region must have a greater participation since they are also affected by this situation. Your leadership is necessary to fulfill this goal. Thank you, Mr. President, and I am working for you for more four years.
President Donald Trump: (15:40)
That’s very nice. I appreciate it. Beautifully said. And it is a catastrophe when you think of what happened to Venezuela. Thank you very much.
Speaker 2: (15:48)
Thank you, Mr. President. It’s an honor to be here with you and to hear these stories on why the fight for freedom can never be forgotten. Mr. President, your-
Speaker 2: (16:03)
Can never be forgotten. Mr. President, your campaign and the Republican National Committee are building the largest grassroots movement in American history because of you and your steadfast commitment to always put America first for every American. The Republican party is growing by the day because Americans know that you’re standing up for our freedoms and what makes America great no matter the criticism. And because of that, the Republican party is now the party of freedom thanks to you. As we say here, [foreign language 00:00:41]. We’re the party of freedom because we stand for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom for the unborn, freedom of commerce if it’s free, fair, and reciprocal trade, freedom at home and abroad. The Hispanic and Latino community in Florida knows the horrors of life without freedom. They’ve seen firsthand how leaders who value control, not freedom, destroy prosperity, security, and opportunity.
Speaker 2: (17:19)
That’s what happened in Venezuela, in Cuba and Nicaragua. That’s what socialism does. Mr. President, freedom and faith in America are now threatened by the same radical left ideology seen in places like Cuba and Venezuela as that ideology now controls today’s Democrat party. And the only protector of our American freedom and American greatness is you Mr. President. That’s why everyone around this table and the communities outside of this church are working hard every day to reelect you as our president for four more years. We’re registering voters, we’re knocking doors, we’re sharing this Republican message of freedom in English and Spanish telling folks why you need four more years for America Mr. President.
Speaker 2: (18:21)
When you declared before our union, that America will never be a socialist country, the words made clear to freedom-loving people across our hemisphere that you stand with those who love freedom and the community here in Doral knows that. Thank you for standing up for America, for standing up for our freedom, for our greatness. Only you can rebuild the economy, this economy to secure our safety and prosperity for future Americans. American saw historic low unemployment for every community across America under your leadership, including Hispanic and Black Americans, and with God’s help and with your leadership, we know that the best is yet to come. Thank you for your time today Mr. President and thank you to all the great leaders at this table.
President Donald Trump: (19:19)
I want to get that speech. Do you mind giving me that speech? I could use it. How good was this? Who’s your speechwriter? You write that yourself? You want to work for me as a nice speech writer. [crosstalk 00:19:31] He’s too big. He works for me anyway in a different way, but you’ve done a great job. That’s a beautiful speech. I want to thank you very much.
Speaker 3: (19:38)
President Donald Trump: (19:39)
I want it. You think I’m kidding too, don’t you? He thinks I’m kidding. It’s true the Republican party has grown incredibly from where it was and we have a whole different group of people in the Republican party. People don’t remember, nobody ever heard of it until I came along. Nobody remembered it for a long time or they didn’t use it, at least I use it all the time. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. You say that people say. I didn’t know that. But he was a Republican. So we’re doing a great job, but that’s beautiful job. I appreciate it very much. Thank you. Please.
Sir. My name is Orlando Gutierrez Boronat. I represent the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance. It’s the main coalition of port democracy organizations in the Cuban exile community. And what I want to do is very briefly share with you four memories of my life that helped me understand what socialism is or communism is.
President Donald Trump: (20:32)
First of all, I want to thank God for this opportunity for many different reasons. And it brings back one of my clearest memories of Cuba which was sitting in one of those big, beautiful Havana churches and the church was almost empty. My grandmother and myself, two or three more people, the priest doing mass, people were afraid to worship, people were afraid to go to church. Because they would put mobs outside to insult you, when you came in or when you walked out and you will be discriminated if you believed in God, persecuted. [inaudible 00:21:00] family knows that experience very well. And every war communism and socialism have come, to the first freedom they strike out as religious freedom. Why are they knocking down the statues of Jesus? Because they’ve done it everywhere they’ve gone. Whether it’s a synagogue, a temple, a church, that’s their target. St. Augustine said that the source of all other freedoms was religious freedom.
The right to believe, or not to believe, to have faith, or not to have faith, that’s fundamental. And that’s one of the first things communism in Cuba tried to eradicate. They tried to wipe out Christianity in Cuba. For this very powerful reason and for many others, free Cubans, Cuban Americans have been at the forefront of the struggle against communism, in Cuba and around the world. Thousands of Cubans have died in that struggle. Thousands have been imprisoned. Many are still in prison today. It’s been a very long struggle and this community has been visited many times by different leaders who made a lot of promises. Few of those promises, the most glaring being the Bay of Pigs, have been kept. And that’s why one of the reasons why I thank God for being here is that I wanted the opportunity to thank you. Because you came through. I was there when they gave you the Bay of Pigs award. I was one of the speakers at that day. I was honored to do.
And what you said that day, what you’ve been working on ever since, closely with Mario whose untiring relentless struggle for human freedom, you’ve come through. And Cubans have been without a homeland for so long. We’ve been in this struggle for so long that one of the things we cherish is loyalty and gratitude and we are grateful to you. And we’re good friends to have because once someone has served the cause of freedom in Cuba and behaved like you have, we will be loyal to you forever. Title three, title four have empowered Cubans legally to fight for justice. The strategic sanctions aimed at the military and the intelligence and security sectors have weakened them. That’s why we’ve seen in the past months and the past few weeks protests against this regime in Santa Clara and more [inaudible 00:07:03], in key cities in Cuba.
Every time Cubans see that the state is weakened and they have a chance to fight, they fight. They go out and they struggle. That’s why it’s especially important at this point in time that we have a strong Radio Marti, a strong TV Marti, a strong [foreign language 00:07:16], all these stations which are transmitting uncensored, accurate objective information to Cubans. Cuba is the base for the communist occupation of Venezuela and Nicaragua. If Cubans are really supported like you’re doing now to free Cuba, the entire hemisphere will breathe better, including the United States.
The second memory I want to share with you is that right before we left Cuba, my parents spent five years trying to get out of Cuba. My father for the crime of being an electrical engineer, they didn’t want to let him go. So we had to go to a work camp, et cetera, et cetera. A few days before leaving my father took me to different places in Havana to show me Havana before we left because he said, “We may never come here again,” and he never returned, he never saw his city again. And Havana was a beautiful city. It’s been destroyed now by communism. And it’s a beautiful city because between 1902 and 1959, in less than 60 years, Cubans took that island from being devastated by genocide and Spanish occupation to being one of the leading Latin American countries, with a thriving economy. Just to give you an example which nobody ever discusses, before 1959, Cuba fed itself and exported food to the entire hemisphere. Cuba today cannot feed itself without US donations of food.
So we have lived firsthand what you are struggling against. Those many in media and in Hollywood who spread lies about socialism, lies about communism, lies about what happened in Cuba. People are naive about socialism. They’re naive about communism. Che Guevara himself said that the goal of communism and socialism was to destroy the individual, to destroy individualism. That’s the engine of freedom. That’s the engine of prosperity. Compare Cuba today with Israel or with Taiwan. And by the way, this community also thanks you for your support for Israel and Taiwan. Look how those countries are doing. Same size, very similar to Cuba. They’ve prospered. Cuba has collapsed.
So my last memory is the 24th of February of 1996. Four Cuban Americans were massacred over international airspace, trying to help people who were escaping Cuban refs. We are to consider the indictment of Raul Castro for for that massacre and that the regime be tried at an international tribunal, at Cuban Nuremberg for the crimes against humanity like that massacre and many others that it has committed. That regime must be removed. They won’t do an opening, they won’t do elections. It’s a regime which will remain in power until the Cuban people have the support to take it out.
And what I want to end with, the last memory is, I was my grandfather’s only grandson, big family, only grandson. Before we left Cuba, my father went to see his father and my grandfather said without hesitation, “Get him out of here. Take him out of here. There’s no place for, to grow up. I want him to be a free man.” I’m very proud to be American. I’m very proud to be Cuban because I have a debt with him. I have a debt with my parents, with my grandparents, and with this country. So count on us. There should be a taskforce to educate Americans about socialism and communism, and we’re here to fight for Cuba, but also for the United States. Thank you so much and God bless.
President Donald Trump: (26:31)
Thank you very much. Great job. Thank you. Please. Go ahead, please.
Speaker 4: (26:40)
President Donald Trump: (26:40)
I’m very sure.
Speaker 4: (26:42)
Listen, before I start, I need to first thank you for your sacrifice and the job you have done. And I also want to make sure that we understand that you are surrounded with very good people here in the State of Florida. And just to mention a few, we have the best Governor and Lieutenant governor in DeSantis and Jeanette Nunez. We have the best two senators in Mario, Mario is a congressman, but the two senators, Scott and Marco. Best congressmen for sure, guys sitting to your left, my dear friend. And I can not forget somebody who’s just been promoted very recently or I hope he gets vetted in front of the Senate, our dear Carlos [inaudible 00:00:27:36], very young man with a tremendous future. Thank you very much because you have selected those people and I assure you, they will be eternally loyal to you and they have your back. I assure you of that.
Speaker 4: (27:52)
Now, my story is very simple. We always talk about socialism. Socialism is nothing but communism during Halloween. There’s no such thing as socialism. America has always been the most socialist country in the world. We’re definitely the most generous. Look at the people in this table. Look at our backgrounds. Just thinking that in 1961, as a 13 year old, by myself, on my way to Spain. I wasn’t even coming here. I arrived in this great country and almost 60 years later, I’m sitting next to the President of the United States talking about the American dream. The only country in the world, no other country in the world that you can start a business from the trunk of your car and within a very few years with hard work, commitment, and all the core values that we learn from this very culture of ours, we can become very important to our future. We can become those people who make the next generation better than the one before. This is the only country. Why do you think you had to close the border?
Speaker 4: (29:37)
Because everybody in the world wants to come over here. Nobody’s ever forced to come over here. We come over here, in my case because my parents chose that I would not be indoctrinated by the communist country, by the totalitarian country, by the totalitarian regime. They don’t educate children. Absolutely not. And this is something that we need to understand. What is happening in our backyard today, I experienced as an 11 year old. I remember vividly all the promises that a guy named Castro gave and how 99% of the people swallowed the pill.
Speaker 4: (30:46)
It took many years later after I read somebody named Saul Alinsky that I realized that all those people were nothing but useful idiots. I remember Castro while in the mountains being interviewed and asked if he was a communist. He went crazy. “I dare you,” he says,” [foreign language 00:00:31:12]” the Roman Catholic. Educated by the Jesuits he was. “How dare you? We even have a priest in the mountains.” We used to have priests in the mountains. I remember I was in Marist Brothers, Christopher Columbus here for those who you know. And I remember the Brothers, the Marist Brothers used to send young kids to the mountains because it was the second coming of our Lord. He was going to save Cuba. I remember how he promised to the farmers, to the [foreign language 00:31:48] that you’re going to own the land. I remember all the promises that we hear today about free education and free healthcare.
Speaker 4: (32:02)
About free education and free healthcare and free land. My God, no freedom. But he never said that until after he was in power, got rid of all the police, got rid of all the military, been there for the last 60 years and counting. And he destroyed each and every one who helped him. The Catholic church, everybody. And why do I know that? Because I happened to come to this country with a very last nine cloister nuns from Convent Santa Clara, because he had taken over the convent. And I was on my way to Spain, I wasn’t even coming here, because I was going to join my brother, who my parents had already sent a few months before because he was in the age where the government will take him for indoctrination purposes.
Speaker 4: (33:07)
My dad who had experienced the same thing coming from Spain at the turn of the century, running away, not from socialism, communism. He knew better. I remember when he used to tell my mom, “Fefe, this SOB’s a communist.” My mother says, “Luca, how can you say that? He’s Catholic. Look, he’s wearing …” He had rosary beads all over his neck. It just so happened that when I was on my way to Spain to meet my brother, I was going to go to the marriage brothers in La Coruna, Spain. Same brothers here at Christopher Columbus, by the way. My brother died. And I was kept in this country. Greatest blessing I ever had. But imagine what happened to mom and dad.
Speaker 4: (34:11)
One day, you lose both kids. This is a family who had never been involved in politics. My father came at age 18 from Spain, running from communists. By himself, never went back. After a long, long life of sacrifice, when he was about to enjoy the fruit of his labors just like a president that is helping us today, because he could have been just having a good time, one of his many beautiful golf courses. But no. But yet he gave up enjoying the fruit of his labors to do this. So did my dad, that’s why I love you. Exactly the same. So when they’re about to do that from one day to the next, they end up in this country with the shirt that he was wearing on his back. And they did maximum, have been here already for years. But thank God for Pedro Pan.
Speaker 4: (35:14)
Talking about socialism, Catholic church, 14,000 kids who came like me in this country without parents. And we were provided an opportunity. This is what makes our country great. They didn’t give me free nothing, they gave me the opportunity. That is the most valuable thing in the world. Now, when I said they didn’t give me any free something, please understand that at 13 years old, I had to be provided with a home, had to be provided with food and an education. That is socialism, that’s Americanism, that’s the America that these people are trying to destroy today by using funny terms like socialism. They’re not, they’re communists. Don’t ever forget that. I know our President understands that because he knows, he’s been all over the world. And you’re surrounded with great people, very loyal people, and we have our back.
Speaker 4: (36:31)
I remember the first time I gave little speech about something like this, tell him about I came from Cuba, blah, blah, blah. I remember this was around October 2016. I thought you were a little crazy for the sacrifice you were about to take, but I predicted that we were going to elect you in November and I was going to see you in the White House in January. Thank you very much. Because of the situations right now, I cannot give you hug. Otherwise, thank you very much. And I going to leave you with one last thing. Never forget about my dad who only had a sixth grade education, but I think he was the greatest philosopher I ever met. He used to tell us how lucky he was because he was able to come from Spain to Cuba. And then he came from Cuba to United States. And he saw me graduate from college and that was the biggest prize he ever had. And he said, “Don’t lose these place because you’re never going to be as lucky as me. Because if you lose this place, you have no place to go.”
Speaker 4: (37:44)
So with that, please keep that in mind. And please, people, explain that to our young people who are demonstrating out there. Don’t be useful idiots. Please understand what’s happening in our country. See what happens to our parents and see what is happening to America today. Mr. President, thank you very much. And thank you for your hard work.
Donald Trump: (38:08)
Thank you very much. And he became one of the most successful men in Florida. So he did, that’s the only thing he didn’t say. But he did, and he’s a great gentlemen. Thank you very much, that was very nice. And now that you’ve cut everyone else down to about one minute, we appreciate that. Okay, do you mind? Okay, let’s go.
Speaker 4: (38:25)
I asked that, you know.
Donald Trump: (38:27)
Okay, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Lourdes Ubieta: (38:31)
Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Lourdes Ubieta and I’ve been working in the media for over 25 years in Venezuela, Latin America, and the US. And I mean, I’m an immigrant. And the victim of socialism, not once, but twice. I was born in Venezuela to exiled Cuban parents who escaped the Castro communist tyranny and made a very successful life in other times, prosperous, but always generous Venezuela. For every single Venezuelan, life change when socialist corrupt [foreign language 00:00:39:05] Hugo Chavez came into power in 1999. After two decades of socialism in Venezuela, the country is destroyed. We are a poorer society with a failing purchasing power that limits the market for almost everything.
Lourdes Ubieta: (39:25)
79.3% of Venezuelan families can’t afford the basic food basket. Child mortality has dramatically increased. More than 500,000 households live in ranchos, what we call favelas. Just one out of four homes, Mr. President, has running water every day. Just one out of 10 homes has power every day. Out of 7.8 million childrens in the country, 40% report difficulties to attend school for problems with water supplies, blackout, no food at home, lack of transport, or lack of teachers. In conclusion, around half of the more vulnerable population can complete 12 years of school or graduate, which will help in some way to reduce the risk of remaining in poverty.
Lourdes Ubieta: (40:25)
We are 28.4 million people because about five million of us are abroad. Migration made us not only fewer, but older. We have more senior citizens more fragile in terms of health and productivity. Our society’s therefore for less able to produce wealth and more in need of different ways of assistance. This is the reality, Mr. President, of six out of every ten Venezuelan families. This number places Venezuela as the poorest country in Latin America and the Caribbean right now. Chavez will destroy the economy, our internal capacity to produce food and basic services, it ravaged the oil industry to the point that we can’t even produce our own gasoline. Above all this, Mr. President, transnational organized crime controls Venezuela. Drug cartels, Colombian guerillas, international mobs, and Iranian finance terrorists operates freely under the Chavez regime with a Cuban agenda. How, Mr. President, a hungry, broken, and sick country that has tried everything to get rid of this criminal regime, bathing our streets with the blood of the youngest, our political prisoners, exiles, [inaudible 00:00:42:07], and disappear all under the dominance of organized crime, how can they relieve themselves by themselves from this nightmare?
Lourdes Ubieta: (42:21)
You have been the only president who has stood firm against these criminals. Neither President Bush, much less President Barack Obama, I have to say, who privileged his relations with the Castro tyranny by sacrificing the Venezuelan democracy. They did nothing for Venezuelans to regain their freedom. Venezuela is kidnapped by the organized crime. Your actions, President, are the only hope for Venezuelans who wake up every day, let me tell you, every day they wake up looking at social networks to find out if there is a new measure by Donald Trump against that genocidal regime.
Lourdes Ubieta: (43:10)
Other than that, Mr. President, the greatest enemy of our Christian Jewish civilization is the Iranian regime. As you know, Mr. President, the Iranian regime is the [inaudible 00:43:22] the criminal regime in Venezuela. They are not longer in Asia. They are here, two and a half hour flight from Miami. The Iranian regime has it’s base in criminal operations in Venezuela, and that represents an imminent danger to the security of the USA and all of us US citizens and Americans. Today I ask you not to leave Venezuela. Each minute that passes is one of the greatest suffering for Venezuelans.
Lourdes Ubieta: (43:54)
Accelerate, Mr. President, the freedom of our country. At this moment, only a leadership like yours can finally achieve the freedom of Venezuela. On behalf of the Venezuelans, my family and my home, thank you very much.
Donald Trump: (44:09)
Thank you very much.
Lourdes Ubieta: (44:10)
Thank you very much, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (44:12)
Beautifully stated. Thank you very much. We’re working very hard, you know that. Okay?
Lourdes Ubieta: (44:17)
I know, Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (44:18)
Thank you very much.
Lourdes Ubieta: (44:20)
Thank you very much. And thank you very much, Mario, Congress, Mario Diaz-Balart. He has been the best friend that we could have also, the Venezuelan community. Thank you very much.
Donald Trump: (44:27)
Lourdes Ubieta: (44:27)
Thank you, President.
Donald Trump: (44:27)
Mario Bramnick: (44:30)
President, it’s a great honor to be here to see you again. My name is Mario Bramnick. I’m a local pastor in South Florida. We also have the Latino Coalition for Israel following your great work of moving the embassy. And you’ve been the best friend of Israel that Israel ever has had. Also had the honor of serving on the National Hispanic Advisory Council for 2016 with Jenny Korn, and now. And the Advisory Board of Latinos for Trump. I cannot express our gratitude for the sacrifice that you and your family have made for our nation. And as has been shared here, all of the enemies of America are rising inside of America and globally to defeat your presidency in 2020. We can see because of what God is doing in your life and over your life, it is God’s hand, as a modern day Cyrus, that’s upon you. We are so grateful.
Mario Bramnick: (45:32)
I was born in Cuba and we fled communist Cuba to come to America for the American dream. In 2016, after eight years of Barack Obama, we were afraid what we fled from was coming to the shores of America. And now we’re being told that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are moderates compared to the new Democratic socialist party of Biden, Ocasio, Sanders. I mean, I think we should have a go fund trips to Venezuela and Cuba to see how good socialism would be for our nation. It’s unheard of. None of us here would have ever imagined that we would be seeing what we are seeing here now. I mean, it’s really the socialist anarchist anti-Christian party. The only good thing is that the American public has a clear description of what we’re up against. The Castro government murdered my wife’s father when she was five. We visited Cuba a year ago and there’s such poverty and misery where professionals make $80 a month. There’s shortages of all kinds of food, and they live in buildings that would be unsafe structures here in America.
Mario Bramnick: (46:55)
Thank you for cracking down on the Castro regime and reversing Obama’s detente. We as Cuban Americans are grateful and applaud that action. Under a Biden administration, he would undo that action and begin to support the communist regime. Thank you. Before COVID-19, we had the best record Hispanic unemployment of 3.9%, lowest poverty rate amongst Hispanics, and the Hispanic medium income was best than ever. We’re seeing an amazing economic turnaround. And you, Mr. President, are our best hope to make America great again, again. There’s no one else that can do what you did and we know you’re already doing it now. And I’ve been with you so often, we love you. [foreign language 00:15:50]. I know your heart for the Hispanics. I know your heart for the immigrants. I know your heart for the African-Americans. I was with Pastor Paula at the beginning, and I said, “At the end of your terms-”
Mario Bramnick: (48:02)
… at the beginning. And I said, at the end of your terms, terms, you will be known as a champion for Hispanic Americans and for African Americans. I believe all will know, because I know your heart and your labor for our community. Thank you. We had the honor of being with you yesterday at the Rose Garden for your new White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, empowering Hispanic Americans to prosper and giving us the opportunity for each to achieve the American dream.
Mario Bramnick: (48:31)
We as Cuban Americans love President Reagan. Many of us became Republicans during the Reagan era because of his strong stand and strong economics. But I believe that you are the best president for our community in the history of our nation. We do see God’s hand upon you. We applaud the US-Mexican Trade Agreement, what you’re doing with Mexico, what you’re doing with Central America.
Mario Bramnick: (48:56)
I believe that Cyrus Mantle over your life, also, in a sense, the leadership in our organization, we deal with heads of state in Latin America on their move of their embassy, they’re all looking to your leadership, to the vice president, to this administration. And really there’s so much in the balance.
Mario Bramnick: (49:14)
I’ll end with this. We were at a White House dinner, and I said, “Mr. President, we pray for you. There’s a bullseye on your chest. There’s a terrible attack against you, your family, and what you have to endure.” We’re praying for you, for the First Lady, and for your family. But it’s not so much an attack against you. It’s an attack against the soul of our nation. You are what is standing between capitalism and communism. You are what is standing between prosperity and poverty. Between liberty and tyranny for our nation.
Mario Bramnick: (49:51)
I would dread to think what would happen if you’re not our president, but I know with all that you’re doing and because of God’s hand upon you, that we will prevail in 2020. If we lose 2020, we lose our nation. Our freedom of speech, our freedom of religion, as was mentioned, and our freedom of press. And yet there’s a complicit press, not realizing what they’re supporting. They’re going to lose their own rights. It’s 1776 all over again, and we are here with you, praying for you, mobilizing to make sure that we don’t lose our nation.
Mario Bramnick: (50:24)
In closing, thank you so much for your leadership, for your sacrifice, for your moral clarity, your bold determination, and your unwavering commitment to the Hispanic Americans, to all Americans, and to our democratic ideals. Thank you so much.
Donald Trump: (50:40)
Thank you very much [inaudible 00:02:41]. Very nice. Beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Please.
Lorenzo DeStefano: (50:46)
Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Lorenzo DeStefano. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and I have a bachelor degree in administrative science. In Venezuela, I started my family and worked professionally in the insurance business. In the year 2000, I had an opportunity for my business to grow and political change in Venezuela was emerging, so I decided to move my family to the United States under L1 L2 visa.
Lorenzo DeStefano: (51:17)
The initial idea was to stay four to five years here in Miami, then return to my country. But due to the political disaster in Venezuela, we decided to choose an American residency and stay in Miami.
Lorenzo DeStefano: (51:31)
I was lucky to invest in the gastronomic field, which was a hobby for me, but it became a reality. I was one of the owner of [inaudible 00:03:43]. As the business was growing and due to fire in [inaudible 00:51:50] was created and in less than a year, the partnership dissolves making me the sole owner of [inaudible 00:03:57].
Lorenzo DeStefano: (51:57)
It was there that my true feelings towards Venezuela emerged. I start to participate and get more involved with the problems that my Venezuelan brother and sister live day in and day out. I always try to help and give the best I could give from Miami. I saw how sad my Venezuelan brother and sister were of leaving Venezuela, even though fleeing insecurity and hunger. Those who had the possibility of arriving in Miami didn’t know where to go, how to invest or work, in short many of them looked for help in my business, and there were always people who could help them, making [inaudible 00:52:48] to the Venezuelan [inaudible 00:52:51].
Lorenzo DeStefano: (52:49)
Mr. President, Venezuela was a paradise, it had everything. Unfortunately, the mistake was made to choosing a president who would guide the country to Castro, communist terrorists, and drug trafficking. With this topic I could exceed my time. Therefore, I want to conclude with the following.
Lorenzo DeStefano: (53:15)
Mr. President, Venezuela is already having socialists and communist problems. On behalf of all my Venezuelan people American Republican, I ask you not to allow this to happen to the United States of America, and to please continue with more sanction and more economic pressure on Venezuela, since we all know that the humanitarian intervention is not easy to exercise, but neither impossible. God bless you. God bless America. And thank you Mr. President, and Trump for four years more.
Donald Trump: (53:50)
Thank you very much. Beautiful. Thank you very much.
Speaker 5: (53:58)
Thank you so much, Mr. President. I’m truly honored to be here as a voice for freedom of [inaudible 00:54:06] people and among so dear friends. Thank you Mr. President, for meeting with us today, for your friendship and for standing with us, the Cuban people, who wants to be free to decide our own destiny.
Speaker 5: (54:25)
Thank you, Mr. President, also for your historic actions to support democracy in Cuba and to pressure the cruel communist dictatorship. Our Cuban people suffer constant oppression from the socialist state. For more than six decades, communist Castro regime has imposed the culture of disclusion and the discrimination against any Cuban with a divergent expression. They abolished our civil liberties, our freedom of faith, and of speech. They tried to delete our history, our faith, and our culture.
Speaker 5: (55:08)
The Castro regime tied the hands of the Cuban people to make us poor and dependent because communism mutilates the human soul in order to control the society. Those who rise their voice in favor of freedom, in favor of justice, those are risking prison and even death.
Speaker 5: (55:32)
This July 22nd, we’ll mark eight years since my father, Oswald [Abaya 00:07:37], was assassinated by the communist regime. My father founded and led the Christian Movement for Liberation. He was a leader of the political opposition, but he was also a moral leader to thousands and thousands of people who demand their right to have a voice and participate to change the system. He was the most generous man I ever met, and he was killed by the communist regime. They were trying to kill his legacy, because they were in fear of the faithful, in fear of the conviction of a silent majority awakening and demanding freedom.
Speaker 5: (56:33)
Although the communist regime was able to kill my father, they were not able to kill his legacy. They were not able to distinguish the resolve of our people to secure our liberation. On the contrary, our resolve is a stronger than ever. We carry on his work. Our movement grows faster every day. We will not relent until we are free. We’re going to finish what he, and many others, started.
Speaker 5: (57:10)
I’m a freedom fighter, but they are many of us among Cuba, and in this table also. I know that you, Mr. President, you are also a fighter for the freedom of the United State and the freedom of the world.
Speaker 5: (57:28)
Mr. President, I invite you to join me in commemorating July 22nd to honor the victims of communism in all the Americas. To honor all of those who has fought and died, defending democracy in Venezuela, in Nicaragua, in Cuba, and in other parts of our continent also. It is important, it’s vital, to rise our voices, to call for liberation of the political prisoners and to stop the impunity of the Castro regime. The same impunity that Castro felt when he killed my father, thinking that the world was not going to react.
Speaker 5: (58:15)
Mr. President, Cuba is in crisis. Families are living through a deep humanitarian crisis and political repression. A crises caused by the existence of a corrupt and criminal regime. A regime that has nothing to offer to their own people, but repression and violence. That’s what they are implementing right now against the citizenry. People are being detained, threatened, [inaudible 00:58:44] cell phones, even physically assault, beaten up in the streets, taken to prison, simply for taking a photo in the streets or posting in social media. That’s the lever of fear and the weakness of the Castro regime right now.
Speaker 5: (59:03)
This is why your solidarity and humanitarian help and the economic opportunities that Cuba needs should be directed only towards the Cuban people, preventing intervention from the regime. Because the repressors should be called out. We can, and do, Mr. President to continue shutting down all of the dictatorships sources of funding, which it uses to sustain the Cuban military, its apparatus of oppression, and its narco terrorists activities.
Speaker 5: (59:43)
Mr. President, this hemisphere has paid a high price for tolerating six decades of Castro communism in Cuba. A regime that has cost the end of the democracy in Venezuela and in Nicaragua, and the largest refugee crisis of our lives. It is time to end it.
Speaker 5: (01:00:07)
The regime that infiltrates society to spread chaos, hate, and division, [inaudible 01:00:15] they are democratic governments throughout the hemisphere, and also here in the United States. Throughout the use of propaganda, the communist ideology has contaminated the minds and soul of young people in Latin America and in the United States. It is time to tell them the truth.
Speaker 5: (01:00:38)
President Trump, this dictatorship threaten peace and security of the continent. As you know, they are involved in criminal and terrorist related activities, drug trafficking, trafficking persons through the communist medical brigades, corruption, providing sanctuary and support to terrorist. Mr. President, I encourage you to indict Raul Castro, Diaz-Canel, and all the top officials of the regime. And very importantly, I encourage you to designate the Cuba military intelligence services and the Cuban Communist Party as foreign terrorist organizations, because they are relation with the crime and the narcoterrorism threatening the region. Our movement, Cuba Decides, is a national and global initiative to force the Cuban regime to submit to the will of the people and leave. It is imperative that all the nations in the free world support the Cuban people’s fight for change, because the victory of the democracy in Cuba is essential to open the path to peace, prosperity, and stability in the whole hemisphere.
Speaker 5: (01:02:04)
Mr. President, my father, in a letter to the Congress, to the United States, he said that we Cubans, we wants to be free and we wants to be friends with the American people. Please accept this cuff links with the coat of arms of the Republic of Cuba as a symbol of the friendship between our two people, and also as a symbol of our appreciation for your actions and your solidarity.
Speaker 5: (01:02:40)
Thank you so much, Mr. President [crosstalk 01:02:42]. I’m looking forward to working together with you very soon for the [inaudible 01:02:46] a free Cuba. Thank you so much.
Donald Trump: (01:02:48)
Thank you very much. Well, I want to everybody, I will not forget what I heard today. It’s very moving. It’s a very tough situation. We’ve made a lot of progress, as you probably have seen and you know. I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed.
Donald Trump: (01:03:06)
And by the way, 2020 is very important. Very important. Good luck to everybody. Thank you. Really a good job. Beautiful job. I won’t forget. You have a great representative right here. Mario will be speaking. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.