Back when Bernie Sanders was praising Hugo Chavez, Chavez was plotting to flood the US with drugs?

Back when Bernie Sanders and a host of other useful idiots were traipsing to Caracas to praise Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Hugo was smiling back...and doing some plotting.

Today's Wall Street Journal has some rather queasy-making news:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in the mid-2000s ordered his top lieutenants to work with Colombian Marxist guerrillas to flood the U.S. with cocaine in his government's efforts to combat the Bush administration, according to U.S. documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal that shed new light on the leftist regime's struggle with Washington.

The documents, prepared by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, outline for the first time the possible role of Mr. Chávez, an icon of the Latin American left who died from cancer in 2013, in drug trafficking. They assert that several leaders who served Mr. Chávez and remain in key posts in Venezuela's regime today wielded cocaine trafficking as a weapon against their ideological adversary, the U.S.

In 2005, Mr. Chávez convened a small group of his top officials to discuss plans to ship cocaine to the U.S. with help from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said a participant in the meeting who, at the time, was a justice on Venezuela's supreme court, according to the papers. The Bush administration was strongly criticizing his governing style then and had publicly approved of a 2002 coup that failed to oust him.

"During the meeting, Chávez urged the group, in substance and in part, to promote his policy objectives, including to combat the United States by 'flooding' the country with cocaine," said an affidavit in the documents written by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

So, far from this drug-trafficking being outside the hands of a helpless state, it was actually directed from the top of the state, and not just by high-ranking officials, but by Hugo Chávez himself.  And not to make money, but to harm the U.S.

This kind of revelation stands out, because idiot after idiot — Naomi Campbell, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Jeremy Corbyn, Joe Stiglitz, Joe Kennedy, Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin — at the time of this sick plotting, were coming to Caracas to sing Hugo's praises.

Among these people, Bernie Sanders stood out.

He's on record as endorsing a claim on his official taxpayer-paid website claiming that the American dream was more likely to be achieved in Venezuela than the U.S., for one.  According to an editorial linked and endorsed as a "must-read" by Sanders:

These days the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in such places [as] Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal...

Sanders has also praised Chávez's cheap heating oil phenomenon, refusing to recognize that Chávez was out buying influence and votes with the maneuver.  According to this "Feel the Bern" website, which adores Bernie, Sanders "brokered" the deal himself, climbing right in bed with Chávez and his plans.  People like Sanders provided Hugo with the cover he needed.

He was declared by Chávez's successor, Nicolás Maduro, his ''revolutionary friend."

And very suspiciously, he's paid lip service to deploring Maduro's death-squad record and...refusing to call Maduro a dictator.  He did it as recently as the last debate.

It gets worse.  According to the Wall Street Journal editorial board, he's hired a slew of Chávez droolers to write his speeches for him in this current campaign, so we all know what the pile of them still think about the dictators, despite their protestations:

Take speechwriter David Sirota, who joined the Sanders campaign in March, though he had been attacking the Vermont Senator's Democratic opponents on Twitter for months.

Mr. Sirota wrote an op-ed for Salon in 2013 titled " Hugo Chávez's Economic Miracle." Mr. Sirota conceded, Chávez "was no saint" and "amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms." Those pesky disclaimers aside, Mr. Sirota suggested that there's plenty to learn from Chávez. 

...and these Chávez fans, too...

Mr. Sanders' political director, Analilia Mejia, spent part of her childhood in Venezuela and told the Atlantic in 2016 that "it was better to live on poverty-level wages in a shantytown in Venezuela than on a garment-worker's salary in Elizabeth, New Jersey."

Mr. Sanders' senior policy adviser Heather Gautney visited Caracas in 2006 to attend the World Social Forum. The event featured a two-hour speech by Chávez lauding Karl Marx and Fidel Castro and pledging to "bury the U.S. empire." Ms. Gautney admitted the event had "a militarized feel" but wrote about how Chávez had "implemented a serious [sic] of programs to redistribute the wealth of the country and bolster social welfare."

 The list is absolutely appalling.

And don't forget this, from the PanAm Post:

In 1985, Sanders visited Nicaragua, attending a Sandanista rally where the crowd changed "Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die." On this trip, he offered praise for Ortega's economic policies including the violent expropriation of farmland and state-run health care (Ortega is the current dictator who has driven more than 60,000 people from their homes and whose military forces are currently hunting and murdering dissidents.)

In 1988, Bernie Sanders visited the Soviet Union, where he criticized the costs of health care and housing in the United States and praised the low prices in the Soviet Union. During his trip he never mentioned the plight of the millions of people murdered by the Soviet regime, nor did he criticize Soviet funding of marxist guerillas who had been terrorizing and destabilizing Latin America for decades.

Sanders later expressed support for the Castro regime in spite of the thousands of political prisoners who remain incarcerated in abhorrent conditions to this day. Sanders' support of oppressive leftist regimes was recognized by Nicolas Maduro himself when he called Sanders "Our revolutionary friend."

 All this friendship and love while Hugo Chávez was plotting to flood our country with murderous drugs. In this age of the opioid epidemic and the drug companies paying huge fines and settlements for unintentionally getting Americans hooked, what is one to make of Chávez's very deliberate effort to destroy America from within?

Can this clown finally be called on to explain himself, admitting that at a minimum, he had been a very bad useful idiot? Or is he still going to go on, continuing to find sneaky ways to defend this vile and malevolent dictatorship? 

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.

Back when Bernie Sanders and a host of other useful idiots were traipsing to Caracas to praise Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Hugo was smiling back...and doing some plotting.

Today's Wall Street Journal has some rather queasy-making news:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in the mid-2000s ordered his top lieutenants to work with Colombian Marxist guerrillas to flood the U.S. with cocaine in his government's efforts to combat the Bush administration, according to U.S. documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal that shed new light on the leftist regime's struggle with Washington.

The documents, prepared by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, outline for the first time the possible role of Mr. Chávez, an icon of the Latin American left who died from cancer in 2013, in drug trafficking. They assert that several leaders who served Mr. Chávez and remain in key posts in Venezuela's regime today wielded cocaine trafficking as a weapon against their ideological adversary, the U.S.

In 2005, Mr. Chávez convened a small group of his top officials to discuss plans to ship cocaine to the U.S. with help from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said a participant in the meeting who, at the time, was a justice on Venezuela's supreme court, according to the papers. The Bush administration was strongly criticizing his governing style then and had publicly approved of a 2002 coup that failed to oust him.

"During the meeting, Chávez urged the group, in substance and in part, to promote his policy objectives, including to combat the United States by 'flooding' the country with cocaine," said an affidavit in the documents written by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

So, far from this drug-trafficking being outside the hands of a helpless state, it was actually directed from the top of the state, and not just by high-ranking officials, but by Hugo Chávez himself.  And not to make money, but to harm the U.S.

This kind of revelation stands out, because idiot after idiot — Naomi Campbell, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Jeremy Corbyn, Joe Stiglitz, Joe Kennedy, Cindy Sheehan, Medea Benjamin — at the time of this sick plotting, were coming to Caracas to sing Hugo's praises.

Among these people, Bernie Sanders stood out.

He's on record as endorsing a claim on his official taxpayer-paid website claiming that the American dream was more likely to be achieved in Venezuela than the U.S., for one.  According to an editorial linked and endorsed as a "must-read" by Sanders:

These days the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in such places [as] Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal...

Sanders has also praised Chávez's cheap heating oil phenomenon, refusing to recognize that Chávez was out buying influence and votes with the maneuver.  According to this "Feel the Bern" website, which adores Bernie, Sanders "brokered" the deal himself, climbing right in bed with Chávez and his plans.  People like Sanders provided Hugo with the cover he needed.

He was declared by Chávez's successor, Nicolás Maduro, his ''revolutionary friend."

And very suspiciously, he's paid lip service to deploring Maduro's death-squad record and...refusing to call Maduro a dictator.  He did it as recently as the last debate.

It gets worse.  According to the Wall Street Journal editorial board, he's hired a slew of Chávez droolers to write his speeches for him in this current campaign, so we all know what the pile of them still think about the dictators, despite their protestations:

Take speechwriter David Sirota, who joined the Sanders campaign in March, though he had been attacking the Vermont Senator's Democratic opponents on Twitter for months.

Mr. Sirota wrote an op-ed for Salon in 2013 titled " Hugo Chávez's Economic Miracle." Mr. Sirota conceded, Chávez "was no saint" and "amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms." Those pesky disclaimers aside, Mr. Sirota suggested that there's plenty to learn from Chávez. 

...and these Chávez fans, too...

Mr. Sanders' political director, Analilia Mejia, spent part of her childhood in Venezuela and told the Atlantic in 2016 that "it was better to live on poverty-level wages in a shantytown in Venezuela than on a garment-worker's salary in Elizabeth, New Jersey."

Mr. Sanders' senior policy adviser Heather Gautney visited Caracas in 2006 to attend the World Social Forum. The event featured a two-hour speech by Chávez lauding Karl Marx and Fidel Castro and pledging to "bury the U.S. empire." Ms. Gautney admitted the event had "a militarized feel" but wrote about how Chávez had "implemented a serious [sic] of programs to redistribute the wealth of the country and bolster social welfare."

 The list is absolutely appalling.

And don't forget this, from the PanAm Post:

In 1985, Sanders visited Nicaragua, attending a Sandanista rally where the crowd changed "Here, there, everywhere, the Yankee will die." On this trip, he offered praise for Ortega's economic policies including the violent expropriation of farmland and state-run health care (Ortega is the current dictator who has driven more than 60,000 people from their homes and whose military forces are currently hunting and murdering dissidents.)

In 1988, Bernie Sanders visited the Soviet Union, where he criticized the costs of health care and housing in the United States and praised the low prices in the Soviet Union. During his trip he never mentioned the plight of the millions of people murdered by the Soviet regime, nor did he criticize Soviet funding of marxist guerillas who had been terrorizing and destabilizing Latin America for decades.

Sanders later expressed support for the Castro regime in spite of the thousands of political prisoners who remain incarcerated in abhorrent conditions to this day. Sanders' support of oppressive leftist regimes was recognized by Nicolas Maduro himself when he called Sanders "Our revolutionary friend."

 All this friendship and love while Hugo Chávez was plotting to flood our country with murderous drugs. In this age of the opioid epidemic and the drug companies paying huge fines and settlements for unintentionally getting Americans hooked, what is one to make of Chávez's very deliberate effort to destroy America from within?

Can this clown finally be called on to explain himself, admitting that at a minimum, he had been a very bad useful idiot? Or is he still going to go on, continuing to find sneaky ways to defend this vile and malevolent dictatorship? 

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.