Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders hopes a new speechwriter, a former apologist for the socialist government in Venezuela, will help propel his 2020 campaign to victory.
Sanders has hired David Sirota to write speeches and act as a communications consultant as the Democratic-Socialist senator continues his quest to win the Democratic nomination for 2020, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday.
Sirota exhibited his devotion to Venezuela’s brand of socialism during the years of left-wing strongman Hugo Chavez, whose “brand of socialism achieved real economic gains,” according to Sihota. (RELATED: The Key To Winning In 2020 Will Be Properly Explaining Socialism, Says Bernie Sanders)
The journalist was a contributor to Salon magazine in 2013 when he wrote an essay remembering Chavez, who had recently died, praising the despot’s political legacy as an “economic miracle.”
“Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving,” Sirota wrote in Salon. He also argued that the Venezuelan socialism “suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.”
Today, Venezuela appears more than ever a threat to its own citizens as food shortages and a country-wide blackout — phenomenons for which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blames on America —have devastated millions of citizens.
There is mass looting on the streets. According to a 2019 United Nations Human Rights Office report, at least 40 Venezuelans have died while protesting in recent years. The country’s possession of huge oil deposits hasn’t prevented it from approaching the makings of a civil war as the political opposition demands change.
But for Sirota, the problem was the United States that had “become more unequal than many Latin American nations” and he asked, “Are there any constructive lessons to be learned from Chavez’s grand experiment with more aggressive redistribution?”
Sirota’s defense of Venezuela could well be embraced by Sanders, who criticized America’s free market policies and well-stocked supermarkets in the 1980s and argued that queuing-up for bread in the Soviet Union was a symptom of economic freedom. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders, Climate Hawk Spends Nearly $300K On Private Jet Travel In A Month)
“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death,” said the Vermont senator, according to the Examiner. Sanders also blamed the United States for the Cold War.