The crazy left in Congress, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have been quick to blame U.S. sanctions for Venezuela’s starvation and misery. After all, what better way to Blame America First?
Well, now we got some news about just who’s about to get sanctioned and why from today’s Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. is preparing measures ranging from criminal charges to sanctions against people it believes to be involved in Venezuela’s military-run emergency food program, according to U.S. officials, part of an effort to target what they describe as a large-scale money-laundering operation run by the government.Monica Showalter, “As Venezuelans starve, and Chavista elites buy yachts with their food aid, Omar and Ocasio-Cortez say the problem is U.S. sanctions” American Thinker, May 22, 2019
“Rep. Omar needed to be educated; she needed to see what I have seen on that Colombian bridge,” Haley wrote, citing a trip she took to Columbia’s border with Venezuela.
Haley also took a shot at Sanders, whose presidential campaign has consistently trailedformer Vice President Joe Biden in national polls.
“While Bernie Sanders has conceded that there are terrible things happening in Venezuela, he has repeatedly refused to label Maduro a dictator,” Haley wrote.Peter Hasson, “‘Cowardice’: Nikki Haley Takes Aim At Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Sanders Over Venezuela“, Daily Caller, May 15, 2019
The administration has ramped up sanctions against associates and interests of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro during his protracted leadership dispute with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, whom the U.S. and other countries recognize as Venezuela’s rightful interim president.
The country is currently undergoing a severe food and medicine shortage as Venezuela’s economy continues to crumble.
“As Venezuelans take to the streets to stand for their freedom against an oppressive dictator, Democrat Congresswoman @IlhanMN chooses socialism over freedom,” Pence tweeted shortly after. “The Trump Administration stands with the freedom-loving people of Venezuela.”Tal Axelrod, “Pence calls for Omar to be removed from House Foreign Affairs Committee“, The Hill, May 10, 2019
Ilhan Omar, who represents my old home town of Minneapolis in Congress, has garnered a huge amount of media attention as the first Somali-American in Congress and because they like her dogmatic leftism. That she is an attractive woman who wears a hijab and and sports a nice smile helps a lot.
Dan Crenshaw, who represents a suburban Houston district and sports an eye patch from a combat injury while serving our country in Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL, enjoys less media favor, but nonetheless has become a nascent political superstar through his good-humored response to mockery on Saturday Night Live that impressed even the NBC leftists, and with a series of eloquent and composed responses to leftist nuttiness (see here, here, and here, for examples).
Reps. Omar and Crenshaw have a history of verbal combat already. But when Omar played the victim as a “woman of color” following criticism of her defense of the Maduro regime in Venezuela, Crenshaw spoke up, and once again showed up Omar for the ideologue and ignoramus that she is. Note that Crenshaw speaks fluent Spanish and has visited Venezuela many times, neither of which statements is true of Omar, apparently. He used facts to rebut her ideology.Thomas Lifson, “Dan Crenshaw and Ilhan Omar: a tale of two House freshmen“, American Thinker, May 5, 2019
But anti-Semitism itself is an equal-opportunity hatred, even if the violence it sparks is not evenly distributed. It also comes from the political left. On my own campus, a pro-Palestinian group recently called for the boycott of all Jewish groups, including Hillel and Chabad. That’s anti-Semitism.
In truth, when it comes to anti-Semitism, the right and the left often find common ground. The far right talks about the federal government as ZOG, the Zionist Occupation Government; the left sees AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as a behemoth of unbelievable proportions, driving American policy in ways that are antithetical to America’s best interests. This absence of a dividing line between left and right when it comes to anti-Semitism was evident when the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke clicked “like” on Representative Ilhan Omar’s tweet claiming that American support of Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby.” [Boldface added.]
How can this hatred find such hospitable circumstance at diametrically opposed ends of the spectrum? Part of the answer lies in the ubiquitous nature of anti-Semitism. Jew hatred can best be compared to a herpes virus for which there is no cure. It is adaptable and thrives in a welcome environment. Anti-Semitism flourishes when anti-Semites feel emboldened and think that what they are doing will be welcomed and not looked upon askance. That is true of people on the right and the left.Deborah Lipstadt, “Antisemitism is Thriving in America“, Atlantic, May 3, 2019
Ms Omar said as much during an appearance on the radio programmeDemocracy Now!, where she discussed US interventions in Central America broadly, and the long term impacts of US sanctions.
“You know, I mean, a lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela. And we’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today,” Ms Omar said.
She continued: “This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela, and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States.”Clark Mindock, “Ilhan Omar says US ‘helped lead devastation in Venezuela’ through regime change sanctions“, The Independent, May 2, 2019
“This is one Trump foreign policy that I’ve agreed with because they had multilateral [support]. That’s what gives it its legitimacy,” Representative Tom Malinowski (D., N.J.), a former Obama State Department official, tells National Review. “I want to increase the pressure. I want to make sure we do it in concert with our allies.”
So far, Omar hasn’t been joined even by other members of the far-left wing of the Democratic party, many of whom have offered a muted response to the Venezuelan uprising. “Violence is horrible,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells NR when asked to comment on the situation. When pressed on whether the Maduro government is legitimate or Guaidó deserves U.S. support, she adds that she’ll “defer to caucus leadership on how we navigate this.”
Bernie Sanders, much like Ocasio-Cortez, had no words of condemnation for the Venezuelan dictator nor words of support for the Venezuelan people who are risking their lives by taking to the streets. The Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont senator, who refused to say in February whether Maduro should step down, has not yet even commented on Venezuela this week. New Jersey senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker similarly says that he has “nothing right now” in the way of comment on the crisis.John McCormack, “Democrats Split in Responses to Venezuela Crisis“, National Review, May 2, 2019
When Chávez, then a young military officer spending time in prison for a failed putsch, was freed in 1994, Castro saw his chance. He invited Chávez to Havana and began using the Forum to groom him to run for office as a populist, which Chávez did in 1998 with well-known success.
Since then, the Castro family has had the same parasitic relationship with Venezuelan oil that it has had with Cuban resources. So much so that, when Chávez died, Castro remarked, “Without Venezuelan oil the revolution will fail.” He added: “Maduro is our man in Caracas.”
Today, Venezuela’s oil industry is a shambles, run into the ground by socialist cronies installed by Chávez and Maduro. Socialism has ruined Venezuela, just as it destroyed Somalia. Why can’t Rep. Omar just admit it?Mike Gonzalez, “Wrong, Rep. Omar: Socialism, not America, caused Venezuela’s suffering”, New York Post, May 2, 2019