Leaders of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist political organization in the US, met with Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro on Friday. The DSA has previously endorsed Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY).
According to Telesur, DSA members who attended the meeting included: the chairperson of the National Political Committee, members of the International Committee, the organization’s Political Formation committee, Foreign Policy committee, and Bilateral Relations committee. The goals of the meeting included strengthening “the fight against the blockade and the coercive and unilateral measures imposed by the government of the United States.”
Tidewater DSA, the organization's Virginia chapter, as well as Maduro himself confirmed the meeting.
DSA claimed they had close to 10,000 members join the organization after Ocasio-Cortez was first elected in 2018. DSA also claimed to have over 92,000 members and chapters in all 50 states. According to the DSA website, “We know our economic system is rooted in white supremacy and the capitalist class depends on racism to divide and oppress the working class.”
Many other Democrat adjacent groups have made similar trips. In 2019, Sarah Chambers, a board executive for the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) led a group to Venezuela on behalf of the organization, to provide support for Maduro’s regime.
The CTU is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, which heavily supported the Biden presidential campaign, as well as many other liberal campaigns. Chambers has a long history with the more activist elements of the union, including the #RedforEd movement, which has socialist roots, and advocates for a leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states blue, using the the education system.
Amnesty International’s most recent report on Venezuela and Maduro’s human rights violations stated: "The continuing human rights crisis in Venezuela saw further reports of extrajudicial executions, excessive use of force, and unlawful killings by the security forces during the year. People expressing criticism of government policies—including political activists, journalists, and health workers—were subjected to repressive measures including criminalization, unfair trials, and arbitrary detention."
The DSA issued a statement in March criticizing the Biden administration’s policies toward Venezuela.
"US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó and, illegitimately and against the wishes of the Venezuelan people, recognized him as interim president of Venezuela. This act by the Biden administration is just the latest in a long history of feckless and illegal US interventions in the region, carried out with bipartisan consent. We take this occasion to reiterate our condemnation of historic and ongoing meddling by the US in Venezuelan internal affairs, as well as our broad support for movements for democracy and socialism in Venezuela."
The statement concluded, "Finally, DSA IC calls on DSA-endorsed candidates and elected officials to use their positions to decry all US interference in Venezuela, and on its chapters and members to organize protests against this interference and hold educational events to learn more about how to support movements for Bolivarian socialism in the 21st century."
Former President Donald Trump imposed a series of crippling sanctions on Venezuela. The Biden administration rejected a plea from Maduro to lift sanctions according to The Epoch Times.