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The American left needs to find its voice on Venezuela

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The Trump administration faces a test in Venezuela. It must pursue a foreign policy that helps usher out the odious regime of President Nicolás Maduro without triggering a backlash against perceived U.S. “imperialism.” It must support a political transition that doesn’t threaten the old guard so much that it fights to the end. And the United States must join other nations to help a country that has virtually been destroyed over the past decade. All this requires careful diplomacy, multilateralism and quiet pressure, not bombast.

But Venezuela also poses a challenge for the Democratic Party. Can it find its voice on Venezuela, and foreign policy more generally? There are worrying signs that the new Democratic foreign policy could turn out to be a reflexive isolationism that is not so different from President Trump’s own “America First” instincts.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) said, “The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future.” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said, “We cannot hand pick leaders for other countries on behalf of multinational corporate interests.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) noted, “We must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups.” Leftist hero Noam Chomsky and several dozen other academics and activists have signed a letter largely blaming the crisis in Venezuela on U.S. actions.

Does one........

© Washington Post