The Doral City Council chamber was awash in a sea of white guyaberas as Venezuelan exiles from across south Florida and their supporters met on Venezuelan Exile Day to honor their own and hear Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, speak on Human Rights in the Americas.
Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez read from the 2017 Proclamation of Venezuelan Exile Day and presented Mr. Almagro the Key to the City. “The Venezuelan story, is my story, and that of tens of thousands here in Miami, “explained Mayor Bermudez. “My family and I fled an insecure, autocratic regime in Cuba and have been working ever since to restore democratic rights.”
Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States since March 2015, was presented the Key to the City by Mayor Bermudez recognizing Almagro’s efforts in advancing human rights. Almagro’s time at the head of Uruguayan diplomacy was characterized by activism in defense of human and civil rights at the regional and global level, Upon taking leadership of the OAS, the new Secretary General announced that one of the central themes of his mandate will be “more rights for more people,” ensuring more democracy, security and prosperity for all.
The Secretary General was also awarded the Order of the Venezuelan Exile “Romulo Betancourt” by Jose Antonio Colina, President of Politically Persecuted Venezuelans in Exile, or VEPPEX. “Betancourt showed that the exile doesn’t stop thinking or dreaming about a better future for his country,” said Secretary General Almagro.
Also attending the event were the Venezuelan-American civic groups Venezuelan Awareness Foundation, Venezuelans in Kendal and the Humanitarian Aid for Venezuela Program.