Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.) on Thursday pushed back against critics of U.S. intervention in Venezuela, saying, "This is our fight."
Scott delivered a speech at an American Enterprise Institute forum called, "What is next for US-Venezuela policy?" where he pushed for an intervention policy to help the millions of Venezuelans who are suffering.
"Now more than 200,000 Venezuelans live in Florida and their concerns are clearly our concerns. Make no mistake, this is absolutely a crisis. It's a humanitarian crisis that threatens the lives of the people of Venezuela and it's created unbelievable flood of refugees numbering in the millions," Scott said.
He went on to talk about the regime of Venezuela's embattled dictator Nicolás Maduro and how it could have a sweeping influence in the western hemisphere.
"There are some who will say this isn't our fight, that the millions of Venezuelans suffering 2,000 miles away are not our concern," Scott said. "Some have criticized the mere mention of the crisis in Venezuela by those like myself as American imperialism or a U.S.-backed coup. I completely reject that. This is our fight. Freedom and democracy … is our fight and I remind these critics that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."
Scott said the United States is going to have to consider using American military assets to deliver aid to the people of Venezuela, adding that "Maduro and his thugs" have left the United Sates very little choice. He went on to thank President Donald Trump for his "bold action" in recognizing Maduro's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as a legitimate president of Venezuela.
"The sanctions implemented by this administration against the Maduro regime and its puppet masters in Havana reflect their commitment to freedom and democracy in Latin America and yet Maduro remains in power," Scott said. "The people of Venezuela continue to suffer and the influence of Cuba, Russia, China, and international terrorist organizations continues to grow. We must do more."
Later in the speech, Scott said the United States should be ready to answer the call of the Venezuelan people if they request assistance to restore a Constitutional government and democracy.
"Unfortunately, the Maduro regime is not broken yet and they can get billions of dollars looted from the Venezuelan people and generate from 20 years of narco-trafficking," Scott said. "The Cubans, Russians, and Chinese see Venezuela as an economic opportunity, but more importantly, they see a chance to intimidate the United States, to be a thorn in our side. This is a great power confrontation and one that our national defense strategy might not explicitly contemplate. It is confrontation that we must be willing to meet with decisive action. The Venezuelan people want change."