Venezuela is on track to shed 6 million people by the end of this year. What other nation in modern history has lost 20% of its population…in a time of peace, no less? Yet, we continue to hear from some elements of the American Left, and from some in the international community, that this is hardly a crisis.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a leading contender for the presidency in 2020, has refused to recognize Nicolas Maduro as a dictator, or support the interim presidency of Juan Guaido.
Fellow Democrat Donna Shalala, who represents a Miami-area Congressional district, was quick to call out her colleague. Arguing that Sanders will not eventually be the nominee of the Democratic Party, Shalala stated that, “He has demonstrated again that he does not understand this situation.”
It’s a smart move for Shalala, whose district includes a large Venezuelan population which is strongly opposed to the Chavista regime and Nicolas Maduro, who has presided over scarcity, turmoil, economic collapse, and a steady erosion of political freedoms.
It’s difficult to tell whether Sanders current Venezuela “position” is based more on ideological affinity or willful ignorance.
Has Sanders done any research? Has he talked to any experts? Has he talked to any Venezuelan people? Has he considered why Venezuela (like its great ideological ally Cuba) has experienced a massive exodus that began on virtually the day that Hugo Chavez took power two decades ago?
Apparently Sanders is unaware of the evil and vile machinations of Chavismo: imprisoning your political opponents who would certainly defeat you in an election (Leopoldo Lopez) or throwing your political opponents out of an eight story window (Fernando Alban). Sanders certainly doesn’t seem to be losing any sleep over that.
Rather Sanders and friends are keen on a steady stream of misinformation and exaggeration with regard to Russia and the fantasy of a “stolen” 2016 election. We’ve spent a lot of time hearing about the evils of Russia…and some of it is undoubtedly true: Putin is an autocratic leader who is able to maintain a veneer of democratic credibility, and is leader of a new global bloc of countries interested in squashing any semblance of political economic and social freedom (Turkey, Iran, Syria, Belarus, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Venezuela).
Now, however, a contingent of the Democratic Party (led by Bernie Sanders and friends) wants to conveniently ignore the fact that Russia is almost single-handedly responsible for propping up Maduro and his criminal mafia.
Sanders has gone so far as to say that Maduro isn’t a dictator and is the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
Sanders and friends stand with Maduro at their own peril.
An interesting fact: Nicolas Maduro endorsed Sanders in the 2016 election: he termed the radical Vermont senator “our revolutionary friend.”
Would Sanders now be “returning the favor” to his ideological ally?
The same Democrats who have fallen for the fictitious Russia-Putin-Trump collusion narrative (despite a complete lack of hard evidence) are strangely silent on the Venezuela/Russia connection.
Far more than any other individual, Maduro owes his longevity to Putin. Despite being the most hated individual in Venezuela, despite his rejection by virtually the entirety of North, South, and Central America, and despite the greatest hyperinflation in history, now clocking in at 1,000,000% annually, Putin has been Maduro’s most loyal friend and ally.
Regardless of your political views, it you believe in democracy, you should be very alarmed by what is happening in the world today: a new geopolitical bloc is forming. Unsurprisingly, tyrants are backing other tyrants. From the Communist dictatorship of Cuba, to the mass-murdering Marxist regime of Daniel Ortega, to Evo Morales’s Bolivian dictatorship in the making, to the Islamist regime of Erdogan’s Turkey, to the belligerent theocracy of Iran…not to mention China, North Korea, Russia, Belarus, Laos, Cambodia…virtually every tyrant in the world is lining up to support Maduro.
The Democrats turn their back on the will of the Venezuelan people at their own peril. But we will remember in November!
Venezuelans will remember in November! Cubans will remember in November! Nicaraguans will remember in November!
Marxist dictatorships in Latin America are committing mass murder with impunity, and Maduro is the bloodiest of all.
His tyranny will not stand. Will the Democrats stand with Maduro, or will they stand with the Venezuelan people?