Controversy seems to follow freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar wherever she goes. During an interview on PBS’s “Democracy Now,” the Congresswoman blamed the political upheaval taking place in Venezuela on sanctions the United States placed on the South American country. In his own sit-down with the Fox Business Network’s Trish Reagan, Florida Senator Marco Rubio ripped into Omar for her “embarrassing” remarks.
During the recent interview, Omar told PBS anchor Amy Goodman, “A lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela and we have sort of set the stage for where we are arriving today.”
“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,” she added.
Omar excoriated the United States special envoy to Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, during the sit-down.
“People like Elliott Abrams, neocons and warmongers, you know, for so long have pushed for policies that are now — we can see, not only in Central America, but many parts of the world, the kind of devastations that they’ve had for decades,” she said.
According to the New York Post, the freshman Congresswoman squared off against Abrams at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing earlier this year.
The Minnesota Congresswoman revealed that other members of Congress are “finally” agreeing with her sentiments regarding the chaos in Venezuela. Apparently, Rubio isn’t one of them. Referring to the comments Omar made to Goodman, Rubio said, “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” Reagan asked the Florida Senator, “So somehow, the problems of Venezuela are the United States, and the results of whatever the United States has done.” Rubio replied, “Yeah, I think she was just recently elected, she has no idea what she’s talking about, she’s just making it up. She doesn’t even follow this issue, most of the people in Washington aren’t following this issue.”
“The sanctions that are on [Nicolas] Maduro have been in place for two months, before that all the sanctions were on individuals,” Rubio continued. “She won’t find a single Venezuelan other than those in the regime that would even agree with, it’s ridiculous. They’ve stolen the money, they’ve degraded the country by literally stealing, they haven’t upgraded their, for example, their electric grid in 25 years. Any money that was ever made from the oil was stolen and put into people’s pockets.”
Concluding his remarks about Omar, the Florida Senator commented, “So honestly, I don’t even feel like addressing the comment because it’s not an informed one, it’s not an intelligent one. It’s silly, it’s ridiculous, and it’s actually embarrassing!”
Venezuela has been hit hard with violent anti-government protests resulting from opposition leader Juan Guaido’s uprising against socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro. Rubio has steadfastly advocated for an aggressive response from the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the Florida Senator wasn’t the only one offended by Omar’s uninformed remarks about Venezuela. The chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel also rebuked the freshman Congresswoman.
“Ilhan Omar’s response to Venezuela’s murderous dictator? 1) Refuse to support global coalition backing Guaidó 2) Back the socialist regime 3) Demonize US aid Now she’s blaming AMERICA for the crisis. She should be removed from the Foreign Affairs Cmte,” McDaniel stated.
McDaniel is the latest to suggest Omar should be removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee. Others made this request when the freshman Congresswoman made anti-Semitic statements earlier this year.
~ Liberty Planet