Issues & Insights
Venezuela protest
Fibonacci Blue, Creative Commons

Want To Find Collusion? Try Bernie Sanders And Venezuela’s Maduro

The founder of the private security firm Blackwater wants to gather 5,000 mercenaries to help socialism-weary Venezuelans topple the dictator who’s made their lives miserable. It’s a plan sure to make Bernie Sanders roll over next to Lenin’s tomb.

Even worse for Sanders, opponents of Nicolas Maduro, the nominal “president” of Venezuela, and his security forces have been involved in violent clashes since Tuesday morning. Some dare call it an attempted coup. It’s not. Juan Guaido, the opposition’s leader, was recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate president by the U.S. and dozens of other nations after Maduro’s May 2018 “re-election” was declared invalid by the National Assembly.

Before the uprising began, Erik Prince, a former Navy Seal who started Blackwater in 1997, was seeking political and financial support for his plan to oust Maduro. He’d get neither from Sen. Sanders, the socialist who’s become a darling of much of the Democratic Party. Earlier this year, the Vermont lawmaker, who opposes military intervention to save the country from sure ruin, couldn’t even bring himself to call Maduro a dictator.

Sanders is not likely a conspirator with Maduro, colluding with the despot so he can stay in power and keep the socialist wheel grinding against his countrymen. But he does have a history of de facto supporting dictators because, he believes, they’ve made the trains run on time.

Thirty years ago, for instance, Sanders returned from Cuba glowing with admiration for Fidel Castro, saying he had “solved some very important problems” in that country. The communist regime had, in Sanders’ words, made “enormous progress” in “improving the lives of poor people and working people.”

“Cuba today not only has free healthcare,” Sanders told the Burlington Press, “but very high quality healthcare.”

Clearly Sanders was eager to believe whatever the Castro regime fed him, and was just as eager to repeat it to the American press in the form of a rebuke of our free-men, free-market society.

Of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista communist nightmare in Nicaragua, Sanders scolded those who would dare criticize the regime’s breadlines. “People are lining up for food,” he said, insisting “that is a good thing.”

Sanders even attended a Sandinista rally in Nicaragua in 1985, where he sat idly by while Ortega ranted about American terrorism, and a crowd of reportedly a half-million chanted “here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die.”

Sanders even has a soft spot for Soviet structure, traveling to Moscow in 1988 where he reportedly sang with his comrades “This Land Is Your Land,” a folk song that’s been described by some as a Marxist response to “God Bless America.”

Meanwhile, Venezuelans are suffering. The socialism inflicted on them by Hugo Chavez and continued by Maduro has impoverished a nation that not long ago was the richest in Latin America.

The media have reported no “bombshells” falling, or “walls closing in,” on Sanders, nor have they appointed a “beginning of the end” for him. Those tired cliches were used up in the press’ campaign against the president. Of course, there was nothing there. The claims made against Trump that he colluded with Russia were so weak that a stronger case can be made for a Sanders-Maduro collusion.

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J. Frank Bullitt

J. Frank Bullitt has been writing professionally since 1986. After covering local news for years, and putting in some time in Washington, D.C., he began writing opinions in 1998, covering a wide variety of domestic and international topics from a limited-government point of view.

About Issues & Insights

Issues & Insights is run by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page. Our goal is to bring our decades of combined journalism experience to help readers understand the top issues of the day. We’re doing this on a voluntary basis, because we believe the nation needs the kind of cogent, rational, data-driven, fact-based commentary that we can provide. 

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