President Joe Biden angles himself as being tough toward President Vladimir Putin because the Russian leader is a “dictator,” yet he turns to other dictators for gas imports as he “kneecaps” domestic energy, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said during a roundtable discussion in Doral, Florida, on Friday.

“We have a number of Venezuelan Americans, who, like many Americans and, I know, a lot of Floridians, are very angered by the Biden administration’s recent attempt to legitimize the brutal Maduro regime in Venezuela,” DeSantis said during the Venezuelan community discussion, amid reports of Biden’s administration seeking to increase oil imports from the dictator’s country.

“This is something that has unfortunately become part of a pattern with the Biden administration. I think if you look at people throughout south Florida that have connections in different countries in the Western Hemisphere, what we see from the Biden administration is basically thumbing their nose at millions of people here in our state,” he said, noting the administration did not “lift a finger to help the [pro-]democracy protesters in Cuba who were fighting against that decades-long dictatorship.”

“And now, to go in … legitimizing Nicolas Maduro, who’s been responsible for a lot of atrocities and has driven that country into the ground, along with, of course, his predecessor Hugo Chavez — so we are here to speak out about that,” DeSantis said.

“I believe that this country should be energy independent,” he continued, triggering applause. “We have a huge amount of energy reserves in this country.”

“You look at how these gas prices are impacting consumers in Florida and throughout the country. It wasn’t just because of Russia. They’ve been going up consistently since January 20, 2021. That’s just a fact,” he stated, noting that we are now in a situation where gas prices are hitting record highs and “continuing to go up.”

“We could end up five-, six-dollar [a gallon] gas before you even know it, and it could even get much higher than that,” he said, describing it as a “huge, huge blow” to people and their budgets.

Part of the reason the Americans are grappling with this situation, he said, is because “the Biden administration has had a policy of really kneecapping the American energy industry.”

“This is based on ideology. They don’t want us producing like we did under the Trump administration, so they’ve done a series of things,” he said, including shutting down the Keystone Pipeline. As a result, Americans are left with the “chilling” effect that this is “not an administration that is energy friendly.” But rather than recognizing their policies’ shortcomings, the Biden administration is trying to justify their actions and inexplicably “going to Maduro” and potentially to Iran.

“So you say you don’t want to do with Putin because he’s a dictator. Fine. I’m all for that,” DeSantis said. “But then don’t turn around and go to Maduro, who has committed all kinds of atrocities.”


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