Amid the severe humanitarian and economic crisis taking place in Venezuela, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) partly blamed the situation on “policies that we have put in place” and condemned the United States for “bullying” the dictatorial socialist regime.
“A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of help lead the devastation in Venezuela and we have sort of set the stage for what we’re arriving today,” Omar said in a Wednesday interview on Democracy Now. “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.”
Following several days of clashes between Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro’s forces and protestors — some of whom were run over by Maduro’s military vehicles — Nikki Haley, former U.S. United Nations Ambassador, was not letting Omar get away the remarks.
“The avg Venezuelan adult has lost 24 lbs. Babies have no medicine. Families have to walk miles in the heat to get the only meal they may have that day,” Haley tweeted at Omar. “All bc of the corrupt Maduro regime. Your comments are so far from the truth. Cuba and Russia appreciate your support.”
Russia has been giving tremendous support to the Maduro regime. Just last week, Russia sent around 100 military advisors and 35 unidentified tons of equipment to Venezuela to help with the crisis. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Maduro had an airplane ready to flee the country to Cuba but “the Russians indicated he should stay.”
While serving at the U.N., Haley was a frequent critic of the socialist Maduro regime. In September, she even showed up to an anti-Maduro protest outside the U.N. and spoke to protestors with a megaphone.
“We need your voices to be loud, and I will tell you going to tell you the United States voice is going to be very loud,” Haley said to protestors. “I can tell you that I talked with President Trump and he is fired up about this. He is angry at Maduro. His comments were we are not just going to let the Maduro regime backed by Cuba hurt the Venezuelan people anymore.”
After leaving the U.N., Haley continued warning about the devastation in Venezuela.
“America & most of our Latin Amer friends are sending desperately needed humanitarian supplies to the starving people of Venezuela,” Haley tweeted in February. “Now Maduro won’t let food come into the country. And who is standing with him? Russia. Putin stands with every brutal dictator in the world. Unreal!”
In January, Haley declared her support for Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly who is recognized as the President of Venezuela by more than 50 countries.
“The people of Venezuela have suffered far too long under Maduro’s dictatorship,” Haley tweeted. “The region needs to continue to support the people of Venezuela by recognizing Juan Guaidó as President. No one should acknowledge Maduro’s desperation of trying to stay relevant. #MaduroMustGo“
Omar, on the other hand, has been accusing the U.S. of staging a “coup” in Venezuela for months. In January she tweeted: “A US backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face. Trump’s efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. We must support Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.”
In another tweet, Omar claimed U.S. sanctions were designed to “force regime change by starving the very people we claim to be helping.”
In February she warned against the U.S. using military intervention.
“Only Congress can approve military action in Venezuela,” Omar tweeted. “The Trump administration must respect the checks and balances provided by the constitution. For too long and in too many places, we have ceded our Constitutional authority over foreign intervention.”