By Rebecca Shabad - 04/01/14 07:46 AM EDT
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Monday said President Obama cares about Ukraine but not about Venezuela.
Scott on Monday met with Venezuelan activists who have wanted Obama to intervene in the government’s crackdown on protestors in their South American country.
“Mr. President, you've got to declare economic sanctions. You've got to show up," Scott told a group of Venezuelan exiles at a Florida restaurant, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Republican governor has already relayed that request to Obama in a letter Scott sent to the White House in late February.
"He cares about Ukraine. But he's not caring about Venezuela," Scott said on Monday.
Last week, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jackson suggested the Obama administration might consider using sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s regime.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters there are a number of policy options that could be pursued.
“We have said one of them could be sanctions, but I have nothing to predict in terms of what that might look like,” she said.
Harf added that diplomatic officials are more focused on bringing in a third-party mediator to talk to both sides peacefully.
Students and other Venezuelans have been protesting Maduro and his government since early this year, but Maduro has ordered an aggressive crackdown on the demonstrations.
More than three dozen people have died during the crackdown, and more than 100 have been injured, reports said in late March.