Venezuela teeters on the verge of what could be a dangerous or, God willing, peaceful regime change. And while the U.S. has been vocal in support of the interim President Juan Guaido (a title he can legally claim under that country’s constitution in light of what even the New York Times admitted last May was Nicolas Maduro’s retention of the title by way of a sham election), there are some stateside legislators who seem to believe the U.S. is helping the process along by being more than simply cheerleaders.
The US needs to stop using our military for regime change & stop intervening in Venezuela’s military. Throughout history, US-led regime change has been waged in the name of humanitarianism, but has resulted in more suffering, destruction & lives lost. #HandsOffVenezuela https://t.co/6kqdzB5DTL
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) February 10, 2019
Rep. Gabbard makes no mention of what she thinks of Maduro blocking humanitarian aid to the people currently starving under Maduro’s socialist “utopia”, nor does she offer another real solution for what can be done to help them. She merely parrots a familiar line popular in attacking neocons over the years: that the U.S. is to blame for stirring up the trouble to begin with.
The problem with Gabbard’s take on this issue is that this isn’t a neocon nation-building exercise, nor is the U.S. a kingdom seeking to colonize. In fact, as Sen. Marco Rubio explained during a speech at The Heritage Foundation Monday, there is no plan B for what the U.S. will do if Maduro wins this battle. Specifically because it’s not our fight.
Rubio acknowledged that there is a coalition of nations that will never re-recognize Maduro after disavowing what he essentially called a crime syndicate masquerading as a government, but that the fight is the Venezuelans and the best the U.S. and other countries can do is support them as they wage it.
HAPPENING NOW: “There is no way that 50 countries are going to go back on the promise to the Venezuelan people and re-recognize Maduro. The process that has begun is irreversible.” – @marcorubio w/ @DCTwining #RubioatHeritage @Heritage @IRIGlobal https://t.co/DPWV3Uslgj pic.twitter.com/oM4JY5bF9E
— IRI (@IRIglobal) February 11, 2019
HAPPENING NOW: “The Venezuelan people are determined to hold free and fair elections. I marvel at their courage & at the interim president Juan Guaido’s bravery.” –@marcorubio w/ @DCTwining #RubioatHeritage @Heritage @IRIGlobalhttp://tinyurl.com/y6sn2ebd pic.twitter.com/8z2IkUPPPe
— IRI (@IRIglobal) February 11, 2019
As the people of Venezuela oust the corrupt Maduro regime, what should happen next?
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) February 11, 2019
The Senator also downplayed the notion that the battle is purely ideological and noted it was more about a regime operating much like the American mafia operates by dividing their “operation” — in this case, their government — into mini-criminal enterprises that keep the regime leaders wealthy and erodes resources for the average Venezuelan.
— Roger Noriega (@rogernoriegaUSA) February 11, 2019
The International Republican Institute, which helped host Monday’s event, posted a piece on their blog that addressed 5 fictions regarding the situation in Venezuela that are worth a read. One deals with the role the U.S. is playing directly.
The rest of the address can be watched in full here. But there is a final question that Gabbard may want to consider as she calls for #handsoffVenezuela: why is she bothered enough by the idea of the U.S. supporting a new leader in that country to the extent she will shame her country for what she sees as them directing it, but apparently not bothered enough by the alternative, a Venezuela still ravaged under a regime that works closely with Cuba and Russia, to the extent that she hasn’t vocally condemned their known involvement?