Rep. Ro Khanna And 15 Progressive Democrats Demand End To Venezuela Sanctions

Rep. Ro Khanna And 15 Progressive Democrats Demand End To Venezuela Sanctions

Ro Khanna
Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, on a reintroduction of a resolution to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Also pictured is Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Sixteen progressive House Democrats including Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, sent a letter on Thursday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning sanctions and threats of military intervention in Venezuela.

President Donald Trump’s recent economic sanctions “threaten to exacerbate the country’s grave economic crisis, causing immense suffering for the most vulnerable in society who bear no responsibility for the situation in the country,” the letter read.

Pompeo blamed Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government for the country’s problems and threatened regime change via tweets. One of the tweets read, “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.”

Khanna led the initiative on the letter, which was signed by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among others.

National Security Advisor John Bolton reaffirmed the Trump administration’s commitment to the Monroe Doctrine, which claims a right to unilateral intervention in the western hemisphere. In a CNN interview, Bolton said, “(Venezuela) is a country in our hemisphere. It’s been the objective of American presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely democratic hemisphere.”

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Trump wants Maduro to cede power to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Meanwhile there are 52 cosponsors for bill HR 1004 that would prevent unilateral action and intervention in Venezuela without congressional consent.

“We don’t want to get in another unconstitutional war,” Rep. Khanna told
Real News Network‘s Sharmini Peries. “The bill is now in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We are pushing for it expeditiously to get out of committee and get onto the floor for a vote. And I’m confident that that will happen.”

Trump’s sanctions are unproductive, Khanna said. They’re “hurting the poorest folks in Venezuela. They’re giving Maduro an excuse to blame the United States, as opposed to taking responsibility for his own failed economic policies and his own cronyism.”