President Donald Trump sent a strong message against Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro on Monday, urging support for freedom in South America.
The president was introduced by first lady Melania Trump, who sent her own message of support to the Venezuelan people.
Audience members wildly cheered wildly for both of them, chanting of “Trump!” and “Melania!”
“A new day is coming in Latin America, it is coming,” Trump said as he took the stage in a speech to Florida International University, speaking directly to the Venezuela-American population.
Trump singled out Maduro for blocking American humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people and condemned his reign of terror under socialist principles.
“End this nightmare of poverty, hunger, and death for your people. Let your people go. Set your country free,” he said, asserting that Maduro’s socialist policies had failed.
Trump showed strong support for Venezuelan interim President Juan Guaido, urging Venezuela to stand behind his claim to rule.
“Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot; he is a Cuban puppet,” Trump said.
He urged all Americans to reject socialism and continue supporting democracy and freedom in Latin America — especially in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
“Socialism, by its very nature, does not respect borders. It does not respect boundaries or the sovereign rights of its citizens or its neighbors,” Trump said. “It’s always seeking to expand, to encroach, and to subjugate others to its will.”
Trump officially recognized Guaido as the president of Venezuela in January, but Maduro is still clinging to power. Trump repeated that he would stand against Maduro.
“We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open,” he said.
But at its core, Trump’s speech was a campaign speech against socialism, strongly condemning the losing ideology trying to take root in the United States of America.
“Socialism is about one thing only, power for the ruling class,” Trump said. “They want the power to decide who wins and who loses, who’s up and who’s down, what’s true and what’s false, and even who lives and who dies. In short, all of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism.”