The Lessons of Venezuela
Rep. Ilhan Omar, the newest Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has had a contentious first month in Washington, centered on her multiple anti-Semitism controversies. But it was the first demonstration of her official duties on the Foreign Affairs Committee that might be more disturbing, and indicative of not only the radicalism of the resurgent Left. Most important, it puts the lie to the Left’s myths about “democratic socialism.”
At a Feb. 13 hearing, Omar harangued Elliott Abrams, the administration’s new special envoy on Venezuela, fumbling over his name and accusing him of complicity in a forty-year-old massacre by El Salvadoran troops — something one of her staffers must have been storing away in the blame-America-first vault for a long time.
While the clip went viral, what most people didn’t notice is how she ended the exchange, when she finally returned to current the situation in Venezuela. Her chief concern was whether the United States might support acts of genocide by the Venezuelan opposition. This follows her declaration that the anti-regime movement there is a “US-backed coup” and that the opposition is “far right” and likely to “incite violence.”
There are no hints, outside of Russian propaganda, that Venezuela’s opposition is even offering armed resistance. The thugs are all on the other side. The opposition leader is not far-right but a “social democrat.” Venezuelans are suffering from disastrous shortages of food and medicine. The United States has sent millions of dollars of humanitarian aid, but it is being blocked at the Venezuelan border because dictator Nicolas Maduro fears it will be a threat to his power.
Yet to Omar, the real humanitarian threat is from the opposition and the United States.
Ilhan Omar is a self-declared “democratic socialist” along with her ally Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party’s rising star and agenda-setter, Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez. And her reaction is representative of the far Left’s response to the unfolding catastrophe in Venezuela. The collapse of yet another socialist regime into starvation and tyranny provides us with some lessons about the failure of socialist economics (as if we needed them) as well as much more timely lessons about the real priorities of the America’s “democratic socialists.”
Read the rest at the Washington Examiner.