Melania Trump rarely speaks of the earlier years of her life growing up in Slovenia. Although she’s currently living a high-class life of public speaking events, advocacy, and other White House duties, she didn’t always enjoy the benefits of living in a free nation. Born in 1970 in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, the first lady spent the earlier portion of her life in a socialist country. At a Miami rally on Monday, Melania took the stage prior to her husband to express her gratitude for her freedom, according to the Washington Examiner.
In 1990, the Socialist Republic of Slovenia dropped the “socialist” prefix from its title to become simply the Republic of Slovenia. However, it still maintained its socialist identity until 1991 when it finally became an independent nation. Melania did not officially move to the United States until 1996 when she relocated to New York to pursue her modeling career. She would meet Donald Trump two years later and begin a life outside of anything she could have ever dreamed up when she was young. She became a permanent resident of the U.S. in 2001 and gained citizenship in 2006.
During Monday’s rally, Melania told Venezuelan-Americans that they have not been forgotten and that the White House will fight for their freedom. She claimed to have family and friends at home that are still living under oppression and working toward taking back their liberty.
“Many of you in the room know what it feels like to be blessed with freedom after living under the oppression of socialism and communism. Today we must let the Venezuelan people hear us all with one united voice. There’s hope. We are free and we pray together loudly and proudly that soon the people of Venezuela will be free as well. My husband is here today because he cares deeply about the current suffering in Venezuela.”
Melania’s speech set the stage for President Trump’s plea for Venezuelan citizens to support Venezuelan politician Juan Guaido and stand against his opponent, President Nicolas Maduro. He threatened that if the Venezuelan military continues to support the government of Maduro, they will find themselves trapped in a situation in which there is no way out.
“He would rather see his people starve than give them aid,” Trump said boldly, according to Local 10.
President Trump held the rally purposefully in Miami, as Florida is home to over 100,000 Venezuelan-Americans whom he wants to earn the support of.