Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar accused the Trump administration Thursday of waging a “coup” against the Venezuelan government by recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as president over socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.
“A US-backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face,” Omar, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter.
“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.”
The Somalia-born Omar, a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, is the first lawmaker to accuse the Trump administration of backing a coup against Maduro. Her fellow Democrats have largely sidestepped the issue.
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.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 25, 2019
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump joined the leaders of several other countries in recognizing Guaido, the president of Venezuela’s national assembly, as president of the country.
“The people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Maduro and his regime and demanded freedom and the rule of law,” Trump said in a statement. “I will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy.”
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, and Guatemala have also recognized the 35-year-old Guaido as Venezuelan president.
Maduro responded to Trump’s statement by ordering U.S. diplomats out of Venezuela within 72 hours. He also issued a statement making the same coup allegation as Omar.
“I am the only president of Venezuela,” Maduro said. “We do not want to return to the 20th century of gringo interventions and coups d’état.”
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, another far-left freshman Democrat, avoided saying Thursday whether the U.S. government is waging a coup.
“Our office is monitoring it closely,” she told The Daily Caller. “I think that, you know, the humanitarian crisis is extremely concerning but, you know, when we use non-Democratic means to determine leadership, that’s also concerning, as well.”
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