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Washington, D.C. —  Speaking on Fox News this evening, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) spoke on the ongoing crisis in Venezuela and explained why it matters to Americans.
 
A partial transcript of Rubio’s Venezuela remarks are below:
 
DANA PERINO: I wonder if you could explain what is happening there and why you decided to be the American that stood up and gave a speech in Spanish to the people of Venezuela. What did you say to them? 
 
RUBIO: First of all, let's see what is happening there. What is happening there is Hugo Chavez dies, leaves behind what’s already kind of a disaster because he’s given away all this oil to spend money through a socialist model. This new guy takes over and basically realizes he can’t win an election. His party lost the election. He lost the legislative branch. So he comes up with this idea called a Constituent Assembly. They’re wiping out the National Assembly – their congress – and replacing it with a Cuban style government where basically there’s no more direct elections of their representatives, all designed to fortify themselves in power. What this leads to – why does this matter to the United States?
 
Number one: thousands of asylum-seekers from Venezuela are already applying - the fastest growth of any country in the world. So it’s placing migratory pressure on the United States. 
 
Number two: it’s our values and it is in our hemisphere. We haven’t had a dictatorship emerge in this region in this way in 40 years. This is the first loss, or the attempted loss of a democracy since the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. 
 
But third,  let's play this out - so you’ve got Venezuela now in play with Maduro and the things they’re doing. They can now destabilize Colombia, because the narcotraffickers in Colombia are people they’ve aided for a long time. An important ally to the United States. And then move west.
 
That takes you into Central America, because that's where the migratory and drug trafficking pressure comes against the United States. They now threaten the governments of Honduras with a leftist candidate. El Salvador is already half way there with its current leadership. Nicaragua is already all the way there. Guatemala is on the verge of being a failed state because of the challenges it faces - all of this pushing into Mexico who itself has a left-of-center Chavez type figure running for president a year from now. And so you can very quickly see within four years if this works in Venezuela, you could see it spread to Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua it’s already there, El Salvador, and ultimately into Mexico and right to the U.S border. So this is - you have got to think forward on a couple of these things, but these dominoes begin to fall, and suddenly we have a very unstable region where anti-Americanism and narcotrafficking are putting tremendous pressure on our country and not to mention the migratory pressures that follow.