Florida Senate - 2019                                    SM 1660
       By Senator Flores
       39-01808-19                                           20191660__
    1                           Senate Memorial                         
    2         A memorial to the Congress of the United States and
    3         the President of the United States, urging them to
    4         grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans in the
    5         United States.
    7         WHEREAS, Venezuela is enduring an unprecedented economic,
    8  humanitarian, security, and refugee crisis, consisting of
    9  extreme food and medicine shortages, severe infant and child
   10  malnutrition, rampant crime, and government-sponsored
   11  repression, and
   12         WHEREAS, Venezuela’s economic crisis continues unabated,
   13  and the International Monetary Fund projects that inflation in
   14  Venezuela could reach an annual rate of 10 million percent in
   15  2019, and
   16         WHEREAS, in 2017, the Office of the High Commissioner for
   17  Human Rights reported the deaths of 124 persons in Venezuela
   18  which could be attributed to violations of the right to freedom
   19  of peaceful assembly, and
   20         WHEREAS, from September 2017 through April 2018, a review
   21  of pharmacies in five major cities in Venezuela showed a
   22  shortage of nearly 85 percent of the medicines essential to
   23  treating four of the most recurrent causes of morbidity in the
   24  country, diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, diabetes, and
   25  high blood pressure, and
   26         WHEREAS, in 2016, Venezuela’s Ministry of People’s Power
   27  for Health reported a 30 percent increase in the infant
   28  mortality rate and a 60 percent increase in the maternal
   29  mortality rate, and
   30         WHEREAS, according to the Office of the High Commissioner
   31  for Human Rights, Venezuelan intelligence and security forces
   32  have increasingly used arbitrary arrests and detentions to
   33  repress and intimidate civil society, political opponents, and
   34  voices of dissent, and
   35         WHEREAS, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High
   36  Commissioner for Human Rights, stated, “The failure to hold
   37  security forces accountable for such serious human rights
   38  violations suggests that the rule of law is virtually absent in
   39  Venezuela,” and
   40         WHEREAS, according to United Nations figures, three million
   41  Venezuelans have fled the country since 2014 because of
   42  violence, political oppression, and the ongoing humanitarian
   43  crisis, NOW, THEREFORE,
   45  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   47         That Venezuela is in a humanitarian crisis and the
   48  Legislature of the State of Florida condemns Venezuelan
   49  President Nicolás Maduro’s authoritarian steps to undermine
   50  democratic institutions and urges the Congress of the United
   51  States and the President of the United states to grant temporary
   52  protected status to Venezuelans in the United States.
   53         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State dispatch
   54  copies of this memorial to the President of the United States,
   55  to the President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of
   56  the United States House of Representatives, and to each member
   57  of the Florida delegation to the United States Congress.