Socialism is again going mainstream in the U.S., or at least in the Democratic Party, and apparently the 21st-century version includes the international socialist solidarity that marked the 20th. As Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro hunts for allies amid a revolt of his desperate people, he is finding rare support among America’s Democratic socialists.
Bernie Sanders, the once and future U.S. presidential candidate, issued this balm for the comrades in Caracas late last week:
“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. However, 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, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”
Mr. Maduro stole the last election and his National Guard are killing protesters, but Mr. Sanders is most worried about U.S. support for “regime change.” Regime change is exactly what the people of Venezuela want. Bernie is siding with the dictator, who survives in power only because of the military and Cuban intelligence.
Then there’s the newest socialist star, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC for short), who retweeted this response from left-wing California Democrat Ro Khanna to Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s support for the Venezuelan uprising: “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.”
Sorry, Mr. Khanna and AOC, the U.S. didn’t “anoint” anyone. The elected Venezuelan National Assembly named Juan Guaidó its interim president, as it is allowed to do under the Venezuelan constitution. The U.S. merely recognized him as the legitimate president of the country.
As for a negotiated settlement, where has Mr. Khanna been? Apparently not anywhere near Venezuela, unlike Mr. Durbin, who says that last year he “found a country on the verge of political, economic and humanitarian collapse. I told then-President Maduro that if he went ahead with a sham election under absurdly rigged conditions he would find his regime even further isolated and in question.”
Impoverished and malnourished, Venezuelans are now resorting to the streets because they know the regime will not cede power on its own. Most of the free world has rallied to their side. The nations supporting Mr. Maduro include such notable democracies as Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Turkey, Nicaragua and Hezbollah.
Incredibly enough, this is the socialist solidarity that America’s premier Democratic socialists are joining. Remember that when they say America needs socialism too.
—The Wall Street Journal