“Who’s the banana republic now?”
A 2011 article posted to the website of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that praised the economic situation in socialist Venezuela, is receiving renewed attention after the Venezuelan government responded to a popular uprising in the collapsing nation Tuesday by violently putting down opposition protesters.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido appeared at a military base in the heart of the capital Tuesday morning and declared the start of Operation Liberty. What followed was widespread upheaval, which included military forces alternatively clashing with anti-government forces and turning against the government. Much of the tumult was captured on video and disseminated on social media.
One widely shared video reportedly showed a Venezuelan military vehicle mowing down anti-Maduro protesters.
One America News Network host Liz Wheeler referenced the incident in a call-out of Sanders, who is an avowed socialist. Wheeler also took Sanders to task for appearing to endorse a New Hampshire newspaper’s article praising the economic conditions of South American nations such as Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela.
In the article, which appears in the “Must Read” section of Sanders’ official Senate website, the Valley News editorial board opined: “These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger.”
“Who’s the banana republic now?” the editorial board added.
Wheeler contrasted the rosy picture of the Venezuelan situation painted by the 2011 editorial to the reality of modern-day Venezuela, which is suffering from a brutal economic and humanitarian crisis.
“7 years ago, Bernie Sanders posted an article on his website that said Venezuela was living the American dream better than America. Today, Venezuelan forces in armored vehicles are running over civilians. Do not forget,” Wheeler wrote in a tweet that has been retweeted more than 11,000 times.
Here’s the link to Bernie’s website… where the article is STILL POSTED.https://t.co/o6j9vgEcB7
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) April 30, 2019
The “article is STILL POSTED” the conservative journalist noted in a followup tweet.
Wheeler isn’t the only conservative calling on prominent American socialists to respond to the crisis in Venezuela. Several pundits have noted that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been conspicuously silent in the midst of Maduro’s campaign to violently put down the uprising against his socialist government.
Conservative commentators, including provocateur Dinesh D’Souza, have suggested the socialist bias of Ocasio-Cortez her progressive brethren is showing.
Dead silence from @AOC and other socialists about Venezuela. What! No lectures about how they need to start recycling? No praise for the gun confiscation policy of the Maduro regime? No calls to crush the bourgeois counterrevolutionaries in the street?
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) April 30, 2019
Meanwhile, some socialists have tried to distance the Maduro regime from “real” socialism.
“The people do not have collective ownership of the means of production. It is not a class-free society where the people have democratic control over what happens. There is still production of goods for sale and profit. Anyone who thinks Venezuela has socialism is an ignoramus,” the Socialist Party of Great Britain argued in a Tuesday tweet.
The people do not have collective ownership of the means of production. It is not a class-free society where the people have democratic control over what happens. There is still production of goods for sale and profit. Anyone who thinks Venezuela has socialism is an ignoramus.
— The Socialist Party (@OfficialSPGB) April 30, 2019