Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) argued on Wednesday that the United States “bullying” Venezuela with sanctions led to the collapse of Venezuela under socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.

“You know, I mean, a lot of the policies that we have put in place has [sic] kind of helped lead the devastation in Venezuela,” Omar said in an interview with the leftist Democracy Now! program. “And we’ve sort of set the stage for where we’re arriving today.”

“This particular bullying and the use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change really does not help the people of countries like Venezuela, and it certainly does not help and is not in the interest of the United States,” Omar said.

Venezuela is currently suffering through the worst economic, political, and humanitarian crisis in its history after nearly two decades of socialist rule. Maduro lost his legal mandate to govern the country in January after his last term was up, when the National Assembly denounced fraudulent elections a year ago and swore in its president, Juan Guaidó, as interim president of the country.

Omar has denounced international support for Guaidó as a “coup” and Guaidó’s party as “far right” despite its membership in the Socialist International. She is among several voices supporting Maduro around the world in opposition to the leaders of 54 countries who accept Guaidó’s legitimacy, according to the PanAm Post.

“In February, Omar attacked Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, accusing him of supporting violence against civilians as U.S. policy,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“I suppose there is a question in there, and the answer is that the entire thrust of American policy in Venezuela is to support the Venezuelan people’s effort to restore democracy to their country. That’s our policy,” Abrams responded.

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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