Minnesota rep. Ilhan Omar (D), a lawmaker who doesn’t shy away from controversy, now finds herself facing criticism for comments regarding Venezuela.
This week, on PBS’s “Democracy Now!,” the freshman lawmaker argued that “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.”
Omar also added that “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.”
In response to what many are perceiving as inflammatory comments, Florida rep. Michael Waltz (R) responded on Fox News Channel’s “Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom,” expressing that “that is crazy.”
Waltz extended an invitation “to go down to the border and go down to Venezuela where you have rolling blackouts” where “people are literally starving.” These people are from “formerly the richest country in South America, sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves.”
And, Waltz asserted that all of this is due to “the absolute corruption of socialism.”
This week, Juan Guaido, the President of Venezuela, called for the Venezuelan people to take to the streets in what he was calling the “last phase” of “Operation Freedom.”
While some lawmakers supported the call, others did not.
Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, also responded to Omar’s comments. In an interview on “The Ingraham Angle,” Pompeo expressed that the nicest thing he could say regarding Omar’s comments is that “it is unbelievable ignorance. It’s just factually wrong.”
Elaborating on her comments, Pompeo detailed that “the problems in Venezuela have been years in the making. It’s been a socialist regime, first with Chavez, now with Maduro. The destruction of a wealthy nation. A nation with more oil reserves than any other country in the world.”
Citing that Omar sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Pompeo explained that “for a member of Congress who, frankly, one who sits on an important national committee, making a statement blaming American first in this way, it’s not only ignorant, it’s disgusting.”