Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said she hopes the Biden administration’s recent decision to visit Venezuela will help the White House understand that crippling economic sanctions do not always lead to regime change.
Biden and his administration have recently softened their stance on Venezuela, and the White House is now looking to the oil-rich country to boost its sales to the United States as Russia is cut off from most of the world by sanctions from most Western countries.
As part of this softening, the Biden administration sent senior officials to the country for a “secret weekend visit” that resulted in two American citizens being freed.
“I do hope that when they are there, that they do get to have a conversation with the Venezuelan people and see the devastation that our sanctions have had on the people and get to realize that, you know, our crippling sanctions on Venezuela hasn’t weakened Maduro’s position,” Omar said in an interview with The Hill.
She added that this may be an opportunity for the White House to “get rid of this notion that somehow crippling sanctions will lead to regime change and uprising within the people that are economically devastated — that they will ultimately have a democracy.”
Omar, a far left Democrat and member of “The Squad” of progressive women seeking to undermine Democrat leadership, has also broken with the Democratic president publicly with regard to its stances on Russia following the 2022 Invasion of Ukraine.
“The consequences of flooding Ukraine with [a] billion dollars in [United States] weapons, likely not limited to just military-specific equipment but also including small arms + ammo, are unpredictable & likely disastrous,” wrote Omar.
“Specially when they are given to paramilitary groups without accountability.”
The consequences of flooding Ukraine with billion dollars in 🇺🇸 weapons, likely not limited to just military-specific equipment but also including small arms + ammo, are unpredictable & likely disastrous.
Specially when they are given to paramilitary groups w/out accountability.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 8, 2022
At least one paramilitary group operating in Ukraine, the Azov Battalion, uses neo-Nazi iconography identified as such by the ADL, and has been accused of holding racist beliefs.
The Azov Battalion’s use of these icons, and controversial history in the Donbass region of Ukraine, led to the group’s permanent ban from Facebook. The big tech company considered it a “Dangerous Individual or Organization.”
The Intercept recently reported that, as war broke out last month, Facebook quietly modified its stance on the Azov Battalion: Users are now allowed to post praise of the group, so long as the praise does not contain neo-Nazi iconography.