Got to give some kudos to the NY Times for publishing this opinion piece featuring Joanna Hausman. Hausman takes on the growing “Hand off Venezuela” movement and calls out some of the prominent members by name: Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, Oliver Stone, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jill Stein, and Bernie Sanders. But as Hausman explains, these activists and lawmakers seem to be living on another planet because what is going on in Venezuela is far beyond the point where ‘sit back and do nothing’ is a reasonable option.
“This movement is dangerously glorifying a brutal dictator and promoting inaction,” Hausman says in the clip. She adds, “That is the worst combination for ordinary Venezuelans.” She’s right of course. The clip below starts with a reference to a blackout which affected the country. Today, dictator Nicolas Maduro announced electricity rationing as another blackout has left people without water. From Yahoo News:
Maduro announced 30 days of power rationing on Sunday, after his government said it was shortening the work day and keeping schools closed due to blackouts.
The measures are a stark admission by the government — which blamed repeated power outages in March on sabotage — that there is not enough electricity to go around, and that the power crisis is here to stay…
“We have small children and we aren’t able to give them a drop of water to drink,” said Caracas resident Maria Rodriguez.
With no electricity, pumping stations can’t work, so water service is limited.
Street lights and traffic lights go dark, pumps at fuel stations stand idle, and cell phone and internet service is non-existent.
One of the claims made by the “Hand off” people is that the problems in Venezuela are the result of U.S. sanctions. But that’s not true as Hausman points out. Until recently, U.S. sanctions targeted specific individuals.
The end of the clip is a bit disappointing where Hausman suggests the right is only discussing this as part of the upcoming 2020 campaign. That’s not true and it’s not fair. I was writing about the situation in Venezuela at Breitbart in early 2014, more than five years ago. I can’t count how many times I’ve written about it since and so have some of my co-authors, especially Jazz Shaw. So the idea that this is a sudden partisan turn is false. This is a pretty old partisan turn which is not about 2020, it’s about the underlying issue which is socialism. That’s why Venezuela is in this mess now and Maduro’s ongoing commitment to “the Revolution” is among the key reasons he won’t relinquish power.
Maybe Hausman felt the need to blame both sides a bit to make the far-left feel better, but most of this clip takes solid aim at the people who are completely missing it on this issue. That’s good to see at the NY Times.