Democrats Implode as Bernie Sanders Backs Venezuela’s Maduro
Sanders called for new elections in Venezuela, going against Democratic Lawmakers
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has enraged Democratic lawmakers after he refused to recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.
Sanders called for new elections in Venezuela, directly going against lawmakers who are pushing for regime change in the country.
The socialist, who recently announced his bid to take on Donald Trump in 2020, is now causing friction among Democrats because of his views on the current political crisis in Venezuela.
The senator, who identifies as a democratic socialist, was asked in an interview with Univision if he considers self-declared interim president Juan Guaido to be the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
“No. I think what has to happen right now – I think there are serious questions about the recent election."
"There are many people who feel it was a fraudulent election, and I think the United States has got to work with the international community to make sure that there is a free and fair election in Venezuela,” Sanders responded.
He emphasized the need for international cooperation to resolve the standoff between Guaido and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
But Sanders added that the United States “must not use military force and intervene again as it has done in the past in Latin America… whether it was Chile or Brazil or the Dominican Republic or Guatemala.”
The interview enraged Democratic lawmakers in Florida, who recently have a hardline stance on Venezuela.
Democratic lawmakers want to appeal to the state’s politically active population of anti-Maduro Venezuelan-Americans, something Sanders' is putting at stake.
“He is not going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. He has demonstrated again that he does not understand this situation,” Rep. Donna Shalala told Politico.
The outlet also referenced a Democratic party statement which said they recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.
Guaido declared himself “interim president” in January, a move that was quickly backed by Washington and a number of its Western allies.
In January, citizens of Venezuela rose up in their thousands and ousted the country's "illegitimate" leader, Nicolas Maduro, with US President Donald Trump announced he would officially recognize the opposition leader as interim head.
Shortly after backing from the United States, several Latin American countries followed suit and declared they would also recognize the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the Venezuelan interim president.