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3 May, 2019 17:32

‘We saw this playbook in Iraq’: Ilhan Omar shoots back at VP Pence in socialism spat

‘We saw this playbook in Iraq’: Ilhan Omar shoots back at VP Pence in socialism spat

Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has fired back at Vice President Mike Pence, after Pence accused her of “choosing socialism over freedom” by opposing regime change in Venezuela.

“Just as in interventions past, those who oppose war are labeled supporters of dictators and haters of ‘freedom,’” Omar tweeted on Friday. “We saw this playbook in Iraq.”

“The situation in Venezuela is dire and the Trump Admin is making it worse. We must support diplomacy, not war.”

Omar’s spat with Pence began earlier this week when Omar appeared on liberal news outlet Democracy Now to denounce the Trump administration’s heavy-handed use of sanctions and “regime change” efforts in Venezuela.

Pence responded by showing support for anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela, and accusing Omar of choosing “socialism over freedom.”

“The Trump Administration stands with the freedom-loving people of Venezuela,” the Vice President added.

Omar never mentioned her alleged support for socialism in the Democracy Now interview. Instead she highlighted the human toll US sanctions are taking on the people of Venezuela. With its economy already in tatters, sanctions on the Latin American country have been linked to the deaths of 40,000 Venezuelans since 2017, according to economist Jeffrey Sachs.

The US second-in-command disregarded with Omar’s claims on Friday, as the spat between the politicians continued. “The Congresswoman doesn’t know what she’s talking about,” Pence told Fox News, denying allegations that Washington had helped devastate Venezuela and –once again– bashing Maduro’s rule.

The 37-year-old hit back, indirectly accusing the Vice President not only of being sexist but also racist. “Women of color have heard this before,” she tweeted.

“Instead of ‘we disagree’ it’s ‘she doesn't know what she’s talking about,” the Congresswoman wrote. “They have to make us feel small.”

“This from an administration that thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax,” she added.

Although her opposition to Israel and her history of supposedly anti-Semitic statements have made her a favorite punching bag of the Trump administration, Omar is not the only US lawmaker opposed to intervention in Venezuela. Democrat Reps. Ro Khanna (California) and Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), a 2020 presidential candidate, have both condemned the White House’s overt support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, while Republican Senator Rand Paul (Kentucky) has said that intervening in Venezuela would be a “mistake.”

Also on rt.com VP Pence says Rep. Omar prefers socialism to freedom in latest attack

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is one of the few on the right opposing any US regime change action in Venezuela.

“How, exactly, is any of this good for the United States?” he asked on his primetime show on Tuesday. “When was the last time we successfully meddled in the political life of another country? Has it ever worked? How are those democracies we set up in Iraq, in Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan tonight?”

Meanwhile in Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro still holds power, after a coup attempt by Juan Guaido fizzled out earlier this week. Calls for American military intervention have mounted from hardline Venezuela hawks like Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) and Governor Rick Scott (R-Fla), and the official line from the White House remains “all options are on the table.”

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