Rodrigo Zerpa is a 56-year-old Venezuelan political refugee working as a chauffeur in Orlando, Florida. In a casual interview last month, Zerba told TheBlaze that living under the Communist Venezuelan regime was "terrible" and he regularly feared for his life.
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías assumed the presidency of Venezuela in 1999. Since then, he has instituted heavy-handed socialist policies across the country. His outright nationalization of a diverse range of industries has led to extreme poverty and crippled international investment potential in Venezuela's mineral-rich markets.
When asked what policies continue to elect Chavez, Zerba immediately defines the class warfare policies of the president's administration.
"He is kind of like Robin Hood. He said 'I'm gonna take the money from the rich and give it to the poor.' So all of his war is against the rich people, against the productive people, against the companies."
Are these messages similar to that of the Obama campaign? Zerba responded, "it's almost the same thing." He noted that the two leaders share a similar "socialized message" and that "poor people, they like that kind of message because they think they are going to get something else from the government." Zerba calls the tactics a "distraction."
Even more, the tactics are harmful. He went on to describe the socialized medicine system of Venezuela, saying it's "crazy" and "it doesn't work."
"You cannot find anything at the hospital, any medicine, any equipment," Zerba says. "The only thing that works is the private health and he wants to take the private health too."
Later, Zebra added off camera that there are many "incredible" benefits to living in America and he and his family are happy here. He hopes the country does not go the way of his homeland, "because then, where would people like me go?"
Over the weekend, Chavez gave Obama rousing support, saying “If I were American, I’d vote for Obama." He also added that “Obama is a good guy … I think that if Obama was from Barlovento or some Caracas neighborhood, he’d vote for Chavez."