The Tampa Bay Times reports:
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist quietly traveled to Cuba last month to meet with officials there amid mounting tension between the Communist island and President Donald Trump’s administration over the crisis in Venezuela.
Crist’s (D-Fla) office did not report his April 25-27 trip, sponsored by the
Center for Democracy in the Americas, a pro-Cuban sovereignty group that has called President Donald Trump’s current Cuba policy “mean-spirited” and “a distraction” from Venezuela’s problems.
Trump has criticized Cuba for supporting Maduro’s leadership in Venezuela and called on Maduro to step down amid skyrocketing inflation and widespread food shortages and power outages.
After news of his trip broke, Crist called on Maduro to step down, but Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla) called Crist’s Cuba trip “an absolute disgrace” and said that the money Crist spent there went to line Maduro’s pockets.
Venezuela once had the fourth-richest economy in the world, but a few years after converting to a socialist form of government the country is in shambles and can’t sell most of its oil because of sanctions against it.
Many countries including the U.S. have recognized Juan Guaidó as interim president of Cuba, but Maduro stubbornly holds onto the office and refuses to give it up.
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