Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said in an interview that she "absolutely" did not support Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, and that she thought that the aid that the United States was sending into that country was a pretext for an eventual military invasion of Venezuela.
What's happening in Venezuela?
Venezuela's current leader, Nicolás Maduro, was re-elected in 2018 with 68 percent of the vote in what was largely condemned by the international community as a fraudulent election.
Under Maduro's leadership, the economy of Venezuela has spiraled out of control. Venezuelans have reportedly taken to eating garbage in order to survive.
As the leader of the National Assembly, Guaido declared himself to be the legal interim president according to the guidelines laid out in the Venezuelan constitution. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most of South America and Europe have thrown their support behind Guaido and recognized him as the rightful leader of the country.
Russia and China have supported Maduro's regime, while Mexico, Uruguay, and Vatican City have all called for a dialogue between the two sides.
Prominent Democrats, including Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and former Vice President Joe Biden have joined the Trump administration in expressing their support for Guaido. Pelosi even met with an ambassador representing Guaido on Jan. 13.
What did Rep. Omar say?
When Omar was asked, during an interview with The Intercept, what she wanted to see happen in Venezuela, she spoke out against what she said were American threats.
Well the constitution of Venezuela says that there needs to be an election called within 30 days and we're waiting for that to happen. What we should be involved in is having diplomatic conversations and bringing people to the table and being a partner in facilitating that. But we are threatening, we are threatening intervention. We're sending humanitarian aid that is in the guise of, you know, eventually invading this country and the people of the country don't want us there.
Asked if she joined the U.S. government in supporting Guaido, she replied "absolutely not."
She also clarified that she was "certainly" trying to move the Democratic Party's foreign policy further to the left.