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  1. Letters to the Editor

Wednesday's letters: Scott says Venezuela crisis indeed is genocide

Scott's reckless Venezuela rhetoric | Editorial, May 17

Why Venezuela is a genocide

The Holocaust is much more than a history lesson — it is a stark reminder that evil exists, and sometimes thrives, in the world. I took my two daughters to visit Auschwitz and Birkenau to teach them this firsthand. We must always remain ready to confront hatred and bigotry in all forms. Every generation must heed the call to action in the face of evil. This is the Holocaust's enduring lesson to mankind.

Right now, we're face to face with evil. Nicolas Maduro is starving and terrorizing the Venezuelan people. Tens of thousands of men, women and children are dying at the hands of this ruthless dictator. There is not a word strong enough to describe the horror I saw when I traveled to the Colombian-Venezuelan border. I saw children starving to death, families traveling hours into Colombia just for a meal.

It was your editorial board that chose to invoke the horrors of the Holocaust. I would not make that comparison. Though certainly not comparable to the Holocaust, what's happening in Venezuela is a genocide, and denying what's right in front of us only gives Maduro more power. But if we allow Maduro to stay in Venezuela, we will not only allow the murder of young children to continue, but we will also have a Syria on our doorstep — and a serious national security threat in our hemisphere.

Words do matter. I've called the crisis in Venezuela a genocide, because it is. But call it whatever you want; Maduro is intentionally killing people so he can hold on to power. How many kids need to starve to death at the hands of Maduro for the Tampa Bay Times to decide it's a genocide? This is a fight for humanity. This is a fight for the Venezuelan people and a fight for America's security. If we do not act to support those fighting for freedom, we've lost.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Washington, D.C.

Trump tells ex-counsel to defy subpoena | May 21

Assault on the Constitution

Our constitutional system of checks and balances is under relentless assault, with President Donald Trump leading the charge. Not long after announcing that he would fight "all the subpoenas" issued by Congress, Trump discharged his primary weapon, Attorney General William Barr. The latest salvo, a memo sent from Barr to the House Judiciary Committee declaring "absolute immunity" for Trump's advisers, will likely land in the laps of the Supreme Court justices.

In light of Congress' failure to provide effective oversight, it appears that the Supreme Court may be the last line of defense against the steady erosion of democratic norms by Trump. A decision that nothing, or no one, should be allowed to annul the intentions of the framers is the only acceptable outcome.

Jim Paladino, Tampa

Don't give Trump too much credit for economy | Column, May 19

Trump economy is booming

The economy under President Donald Trump is growing over 3 percent annually, the stock market continues to surge, unemployment is at a 50-year low, including among women and minorities. Wages have increased to their highest level in 10 years, and this leads the Democrats to one conclusion: America needs to try socialism.

Charles Graham, Pinellas Park