Bernie Sanders warns about US, not Russian, intervention in Venezuela
The story out of Venezuela is revolting: mass Egypt-style protest to get a leftist dictator who's put the country in ruins out, and the whole thing stopped by Russian intervention.
That's not stopping Bernie Sanders, who, to paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, is running around with a fire hose at a time of...flood. Get a load of his three tweets:
The Maduro government has waged a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election many observers said was fraudulent. The economy is a disaster and millions are migrating. 1/3— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 24, 2019
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. 2/3— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 24, 2019
Here's the yes-but part:
But 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 & the DR. The US has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American nations; we must not go down that road again. 3/3— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 24, 2019
You knew there'd be a "yes-but" part because the first two tweets read so uncharacteristically true, didn't you?
Does Sanders know what's going on over there?
Is he saying National Assembly president Juan Guaidó, who's put his life on the line in declaring himself the only legitimate president of Venezuela, is some kind of puppet? Is he trying to say Guaidó is doing this not to save his country, but as a means of doing what Uncle Sam wants? Is he saying that the millions of poor Venezuelans in the streets across the country, burning tires and protesting a vile and usurping Marxist torture-dictatorship that has impoverished 90% of them, didn't come up with this idea themselves?
Seriously, he's taking this time, when he should be supporting Venezuela's democrats, to warn about a U.S. Marine invasion as the big threat, not the dictatorship itself. What's more, nobody else is talking about a Marine invasion, except for Maduro himself, who's trying to rally support. No Marine invasion is going to happen so far as anyone knows, because every indicator so far has been that the U.S., the Latin American democracies, the anti-Russian former Soviet republics such as Georgia, and western Europe – that group the left up until now has referred to as "the world" – are doing nothing more than encouraging Venezuelans to reclaim their democracy themselves. They're using diplomatic and sanction tools, and in the U.S. case, they're openly ignoring Maduro's order to shut the U.S. embassy down, which is a brave move, too, given the thuggery Maduro is capable of.
Calling Venezuela's regime opponents puppets of the U.S. and suggesting that the real problem is U.S. meddling is pretty damn insulting.
The situation over there is turning tragic. Right now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the leaders of the military seem to be standing by Maduro, which is enough to render the massive, Egypt-sized protests in Venezuela null and void. Why are they doing this? Likely because of Russian intervention and meddling to support the regime, and because they've got their snoots in the trough, whether through drug money; oil earnings; or, most likely, Russian foreign sponsorship.
Russian president Vladimir Putin's warnings, delivered yesterday via his administrative minions, threatening civil war and hell to pay if Maduro is thrown out, is a clear signal that somebody's rice bowl is threatened in Moscow if Maduro exits and that Russia itself is trying to intervene. By the wildest coincidence, they just happen to be the Venezuelan military's arms-supplier, supplying the weapons that, so far, are being aimed at Venezuela's protesting people. China, which has loaned Venezuela billions in exchange for oil at below-market rates, is another one. And Cuba, which literally runs the critical parts of the Venezuelan government, including much of its military, has the dirtiest hands of them all. Other nations with their hands in the trough, such as Iran and Syria, have signaled their support, as have the terrorists of Hezb'allah. What it says is, Venezuelans can't live in a free country that puts food on the table because these foreign players have a rice bowl to defend. Putin and his buddies are the ones exerting imperial prerogatives here – that very imperialism Sanders insultingly claims that the U.S. is guilty of.
Bernie has nothing to say about his past praise for the regime, or his recommendations that its failed model be adapted here, but that's out there. He should be apologizing for that instead of warning Venezuelans about the dangers the U.S. poses, as if U.S. intervention were the biggest threat to a nation that's right now under the Russian and Cuban boot heel.