Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is once again refusing to label Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as a dictator, instead, the 2020 Democratic contender is claiming there’s “still democratic operations taking place in their country.”
During a CNN town hall with Wolf Blitzer on Monday, the self-described democratic socialist was asked about where he stands on U.S. intervention overseas, both economically and militarily, “for nations that are under the regimes of these oppressive dictators.” In response, he explained he’s “very fearful” of the U.S. repeating its past steps in overthrowing “a democratically-elected government.”
“So as someone who fervently believes in human rights and democracy, we have got to do everything that we can, but I think sometimes you have unintended consequences when a powerful nation goes in and tells people who their government will be,” he added.
However, when Blitzer pressed the Vermont senator on why he’s strayed from calling Maduro a dictator, Sanders continued to refuse to do so.
“I think it’s fair to say that the last election was undemocratic,” he said. “But there are still democratic operations taking place in their country. The point is, what I am calling for right now is internationally supervised free elections.”
Watch the video below:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 26, 2019
During the town hall, Sanders also took aim at the U.S. president for being “selective” with his stance on Venezuela versus Saudi Arabia.
The Trump administration announced on Jan. 23 where they stand on Venezuela, viewing Maduro as a dictator and calling Juan Guaidó the Venezuelan interim president.
As IJR Red previously reported, Sanders said “no,” he doesn’t believe Guaidó is the legitimate president, and while he does believe Maduro is “very, very abusive,” he failed to call him a dictator.
Watch the video below:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 21, 2019
Despite Sanders’ refusal to call Maduro a dictator, other Democrats, including 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, have expressed where they stand on Venezuela. Additionally, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been a strong critic of Maduro.
This past weekend, Maduro deployed troops to push back aide, resulting in the deaths of two people and leaving dozens of others wounded. Maduro also blasted the American president for attempting to send aid, saying, “Take your hands off Venezuela, Donald Trump,” according to BBC.