ACTION ALERT: The “Bernie Versus Venezuela” Scandal

September 22nd, 2019 - by Voices from the Frontlines, et al

Call on Bernie Sanders to withdraw his call to overthrow the government of Venezuela

Voices from the Frontlines, et al

(September 18, 2019) — The Alliance For Global Justice (AFGJ) forwards this message from the Voices from the Frontlines

Call on Bernie Sanders to withdraw his call to overthrow the government of Venezuela. 

“Let me be very clear. Anyone who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. We need international and regional cooperation for free elections so the Venezuelan people can create their own future.” 

— Bernie Sanders, Democratic Debate Sunday September 15 

Call his office today, Bernie Sanders: (202) 224-5141

“Senator Sanders. Withdraw your demand for an international force to invade Venezuela. US Hands off Venezuela. Stop your slander of President Nicolas Maduro, issue an apology to the Venezuelan people, and join the anti-intervention movement now!” 

Sanders’ attack on Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was in response to the challenge to his socialism by anti-communist Univision commentator Jorge Ramos. 

“You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections and yet you refuse to call Maduro a dictator. Can you explain why and what are the differences between your kind of socialism and that being imposed on Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.” 

Sanders imperialist socialism is an attack on the self-determination of the people of Venezuela and Latin America and the peace, non-intervention, and anti-imperialist movements 

This is the answer that any decent human being and any decent Sanders supporter would have expected. It is the retraction and new statement that we demand he make now! 

“To begin with, his name is ‘duly-elected President Nicolas Maduro.’ Calling him “Maduro” is racist and insulting. I believe that the nations of Latin America have the right of self-determination. It is our government our CIA, that is destabilizing the government of Venezuela the way they have done so to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Cuba in the past since the Monroe Doctrine. I am worried that we have so many Black people in prison in the US, have violated the human and voting rights of Black and Latinos, that we cannot have free elections in the US I call on the U.N. to intervene in the US to protect our voting rights now. I would never call for a “regional and international force” (which simply means the US government) to call for “free elections” when in fact Nicolas Maduro was elected through free elections. I do not want to in any way lead to the violent overthrow and possible assassination of President Maduro by repeating the lies of calling him a “vicious tyrant'” I want to distance myself from the US ideology expressed by Henry Kissinger just before the fascist coup in Chile that assassinated duly elected President Salvador Allende.”

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” — Henry Kissinger, June 27, 1970 

Listen to Voice from the Frontlines


On Fri, Sep 20, 2019, Joe S. wrote:

I wish you would bury that headline that Bernie advocates the “overthrow of the government of Venezuela.” He did no such thing. He said there should be fair elections overseen by international observers and pointed out that Maduro has committed atrocities. The same thing could be said about all of our presidents going back to George Washington, maybe excepting Millard Fillmore and Jimmy Carter, and I’m not so sure about those two.

On Sep 20, 2019, Kevin Z wrote:

What is calling for an election when Venezuela had a legitimate election in May of 2018? 150+ international election observers who unanimously agreed that the election met international standards for democratic elections and Maduro was legitimately re-elected. I was there for the election and it was better run than US elections.

Sanders is calling for a new election even though Maduro’s term goes till 2024. That is regime change. And, Sanders says this time there should international election observers when there were observers in the last election.

The headline is accurate and Sanders is either ignorant or helping escalate conflict with Venezuela. Either way, he needs to be called out for being wrong. He needs to get educated then correct his position.

And, I know his staff already criticized him internally when he made previously inaccurate statements about Venezuela. Yet, Sanders continues. Sanders needs to be held accountable.

On Fri, Sep 20, 2019, Tarak K wrote:

Kevin is 100% correct. Of course, we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater but Bernie needs to be corrected on this and he needs to accept that correction and acknowledge his mistake. It is a huge mistake. AFGJ is also totally correct in their headline. 

 “I wonder how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own.” ― Howard Zinn

On Sat, Sep 21, 2019, 10:18 AM Donald S wrote:

It’s hyperbolic to regard calling for free and fair elections the same as “overthrowing the government.” Don’t you see that? If so, I’m all in favor of overthrowing lots of governments, starting with ours!  

The real questions are: Does Bernie support sanctions? Does he support sending in the CIA or troops? He didn’t say that. He said, “What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make, can create their own future.” 

I agree that Bernie should have been clearer and should have pointed out that Venezuela already had a fair election.  But realize the situation Bernie’s in. A favorite GOP talking point is: “If it’s socialism you want, move to Venezuela.”  

Regardless of the fairness of that talking point, you gotta realize that Bernie is in the fight of his life to win the primary. He needs to distinguish democratic socialism from a harsher kind of socialism. (In fact, he’s a social democrat, not a democratic socialist.) Give him a break.  Bernie is the best ally progressives and the anti-war movement have had.  And now everyone is attacking him. 

No wonder the left usually loses. They have no sense of strategic pragmatism.

On Sep 21, 2019, Kevin Z wrote:

Calling for an election in the middle of a presidential term is regime change. Sanders is calling for an election to remove Maduro. That is his purpose. Stop justifying US intervention.