Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has admitted that the socialist country of Venezuela is experiencing a “serious humanitarian crisis” and has called on the Maduro regime to stop using violence against those attempting to bring aid into the country.
Over recent days, leading Florida Democrats have been criticizing Sanders’ more sympathetic stance toward the far-left regime after Sanders had said he did not recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate president and had refused to label Maduro a “dictator.”
However, Sanders appeared to take a harsher stance against Maduro on Saturday afternoon, when he admitted that the country was experiencing a “serious humanitarian crisis,” and he called on the regime to stop attacking civilians attempting to transfer aid into the country, which the U.S. and other regional contributors had provided.
“The people of Venezuela are enduring a serious humanitarian crisis,” Sanders wrote on Twitter. “The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.”
The people of Venezuela are enduring a serious humanitarian crisis. The Maduro government must put the needs of its people first, allow humanitarian aid into the country, and refrain from violence against protesters.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 23, 2019
Earlier this week, the 78-year-old socialist told Mexican journalist Jorge Ramos that there should be fresh elections in Venezuela, but said he disagreed with the Trump administration’s efforts to remove the Maduro regime from power and initiate a transition toward democracy:
I think clearly he has been very, very abusive. That is a decision of the Venezuelan people, so I think, Jorge, there’s got to be a free and fair election. But what must not happen is that the United States must not use military force and intervene again as it has done in the past in Latin America, as you recall, whether it was Chile or Brazil or the Dominican Republic or Guatemala.
Sanders’ hardening stance may come as a disappointment to Maduro, who has previously praised the presidential hopeful as a “revolutionary friend” who should have won the 2016 presidential election.
“Bernie Sanders, our revolutionary friend, ought to win in the United States,” Maduro said in 2016. “If the elections in the United States did not depend on an archaic system from 200 years ago, Bernie Sanders would be president.”