Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reportedly refused to weigh in on the crisis in Venezuela when asked by a reporter on Thursday.
When asked if internationally recognized interim president Juan Guaido or Socialist leader Nicolas Maduro was Venezuela’s rightful president, Ocasio-Cortez reportedly told National Review’s John McCormack that she would defer to party leadership before taking a position on the issue.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were part of a broader piece from McCormack detailing the Democrats’ split on the ongoing crisis. (RELATED: Democrats Who Won’t Support Ousting Venezuela’s Socialist Dictator Pile On Brazil’s Democratically Elected Leader)
I asked @AOC if the Maduro regime is legitimate.
“I defer to caucus leadership on how we navigate this,” she says. https://t.co/sEn2PwiOoJ
— John McCormack (@McCormackJohn) May 2, 2019
“Violence is horrible,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that she would “defer to caucus leadership on how we navigate this.”
The self-described Democratic-Socialist has demurred on Maduro’s socialist dictatorship in the past, saying that she was more concerned with possible U.S. interventionism than anything else. (RELATED: CNN Interviews America’s Leading Socialist, Doesn’t Ask About Venezuela)
Maduro has been accused of countless human rights violations and has been criticized for his unconstitutional power grabs, and socialist policies that have lead to food shortages, a health care crisis, and decrepit living conditions in the once-prosperous, oil-rich state.
Ocasio-Cortez’s apparent dodge came days after fellow freshman Congresswoman and political ally Ilhan Omar of Minnesota blamed America for the uprising in Venezuela.
“You know, I mean, a lot of the policies that we have put in place has kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela,” Omar said earlier this week. “We’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today.”
Violence in the country reached a fever pitch on Tuesday when Guaido called for a revolt against Maduro. Maduro-backed forces have been strident in their response, using tear gas to disperse protesters, and even plowing into crowds of unarmed citizens in one case.