For most people, the tragedy of Venezuela, formerly a wealthy country but now chaotic, violent, and impoverished, shows the perils of socialism.
But not for Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's mischaracterization of U.S. support for acting interim leader Juan Guaido shows that she may not have the facts of the situation well in hand. The Wall Street Journal characterizes her approach to Venezuela this way:
Then there’s the newest socialist star, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC for short), who retweeted this response from left-wing California Democrat Ro Khanna to Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s support for the Venezuelan uprising: “With respect Senator Durbin, the US should not anoint the leader of the opposition in Venezuela during an internal, polarized conflict. Let us support Uruguay, Mexico, & the Vatican’s efforts for a negotiated settlement & end sanctions that are making the hyperinflation worse.”
Sorry, Mr. Khanna and AOC, the U.S. didn’t “anoint” anyone. The elected Venezuelan National Assembly named Juan Guaidó its interim president, as it is allowed to do under the Venezuelan constitution. The U.S. merely recognized him as the legitimate president of the country.
As for a negotiated settlement, where has Mr. Khanna been? Apparently not anywhere near Venezuela, unlike Mr. Durbin, who says that last year he “found a country on the verge of political, economic and humanitarian collapse. I told then-President Maduro that if he went ahead with a sham election under absurdly rigged conditions he would find his regime even further isolated and in question.”
Senator Sanders also issued a statement on Venezuela:
“The United States should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the Venezuelan people. We must condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the suppression of dissent. However, we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups—as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”
Dictator Nicolas Maduro clings to power, the Wall Street Journal notes, because of the support of from the military (this may be breaking) and Cuba.