TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - As protesters in Venezuela continue their chants for President Nicholas Maduro to get out, one Tampa man who was raised there says this regime is a mafia.
"They don't have any legality, they trick the elections, they commit fraud, intimidation, and there is really no way for the civilian population to get rid of this threat," Frederico Alves told FOX 13.
That's why Venezuelans are taking to the streets to support opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, following an election tainted by allegations of fraud.
"His election was a sham, therefore he was never elected! He appointed himself," Alves said.
In an interview with Meet the Press Sunday morning, Senator Rick Scott discussed President Trump not ruling out the U.S. sending in troops.
"I hope we never have to use military force but everything's got to be on the table," Scott said. "If Maduro understands that's an option, and if he believes that's an option and world leaders all over are saying you've got to step aside, I think hopefully he will step aside."
Alves says time is of the essence, because his people need the humanitarian aid – something Maduro has declined.
"We do need help right away, there are thousands of people who are dying because they can't get basic medicines like antibiotics," Alves said. “The Venezuelan people have lost a median of 10 kilos, which is like 20 pounds, in the last ten years, because there's no way to get calories!"
And Alves says their only hope could be Juan Guaidó.
"He's not a new dictator, he's not trying to stay there for another six years unelected, he's just doing a tough job that God gave him, and he's going to do it," Alves said.
Guaidó said in the coming days, the opposition would try to move humanitarian aid into the country by land and sea along three border points. He described the move as a “test” for Venezuela’s armed forces, to see if they allow the aid to pass, or obey the orders of the Maduro government.
President Trump has advised Americans to avoid travel to Venezuela until further notice.