“I am generally opposed to US interventionism, but particularly under his leadership.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday declined to denounce socialist Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, calling the country’s crisis a “complex issue.”
At a press conference to mark the opening of her first congressional office in Queens, the freshman New York Democrat was asked about her willingness to “denounce the Maduro regime.”
“I think this is absolutely a complex issue,” she told the reporter. “I think it’s important we approach this very carefully.”
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“Myself – just like anyone else – is absolutely concerned with the humanitarian crisis that’s happening, and I think it’s important that any solution that we have centers the Venezuelan people and centers the democracy of Venezuelan people first,” she said.
However, Ocasio-Cortez – who has pushed a socialist-like agenda since joining Congress this year – made clear she was opposed to US intervention in the South American country.
“I am very concerned about US interventionism in Venezuela, and I oppose it,” she said. “Especially when we talk about a figure like US Special Envoy Elliot Abrams. He’s pled guilty to several crimes related to Iran-Contra.”
Abrams, whom President Donald Trump recently appointed as special envoy to Venezuela, is widely viewed as a villain on the political left.
He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor of counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress as part of his role in the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved officials in the Reagan administration illegally selling arms to the Contras, a right-wing rebel group that was fighting the socialist Nicaraguan government. He was later pardoned.
An outspoken Trump critic, Ocasio-Cortez added: “I am generally opposed to US interventionism as a principle, but particularly under this administration and under his leadership. I think it’s a profound mistake.”
Her comments came as Venezuela is mired in social and economic turmoil. Maduro is clinging to power despite opposition leader Juan Guido being recognized as the country’s new leader by more than 50 foreign governments, including the United States.
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