In a series of Twitter posts published Thursday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to back a coup in Venezuela.
“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.”
Sanders criticized Nicolas Maduro’s brutal regime as well, noting that it has committed many atrocities, cracked down on dissidents, used violence against unarmed protesters, and violated the country’s constitution. The senator recommended that the United States supports “self-determination” for the Venezuelan people, fair elections, and the rule of law.
The coup in the impoverished country is being lead by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself president this week, as per the Guardian.
Guaidó was recognized as president by the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Brazil, Colombia, and other U.S. allies in Americas. The European Union has refused to back Guaidó, calling for dialogue instead, according to Bloomberg. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, and Turkey openly support Maduro.
According to Harvard University research, Bernie Sanders is right to warn against U.S. intervention in Latin America. According to Harvard, U.S. interventions in Latin American countries throughout the twentieth century not only called into question the American commitment to democracy and rule of law in international affairs, but also generated resentment in the region. In conclusion, U.S. interventions in Latin America “did not serve U.S. national interests well,” according to the university.
Here are all the countries recognizing Guaido as Venezuela's new president https://t.co/kAFqk3pyb5
— Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) January 24, 2019
Nevertheless, the Trump administration’s move to back a coup in Venezuela has received bipartisan support with only a few notable exceptions thus far. Apart from Bernie Sanders, Democrats Ro Khanna, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Tulsi Gabbard pushed back against the decision.
Gabbard argued that the United States should “stay out of Venezuela,” Khanna suggested that the administration supports “efforts for a negotiated settlement” and eases sanctions. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted Khanna’s statement.
The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don't want other countries to choose our leaders–so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.
— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 24, 2019
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. https://t.co/qoAb2ou95g
— Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) January 24, 2019
Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for president of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections, observed via Twitter that the Democrats are backing Trump on regime change in Venezuela, “just like they backed disasters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.”
Following Nicolas Maduro’s decision to ask U.S. diplomats to leave and the diplomats’ subsequent refusal to oblige, New York Times reporter Eva Golinger noted on Twitter that an escalation is likely. Given that the administration has left “all options on the table,” President Donald Trump is “inventing a reason to invade.”
According to World Atlas, Venezuela has the largest amount of proven oil reserves in the world (300,878 million barrels). According to CNBC, the break in relations between Venezuela and the United States has raised concern that official Washington will expand sanctions.