in the vicinityVideoRep. Ilhan Omar questions the credibility of the Trump administration Venezuela envoy
Elliott Abrams and democratic members of Congress, Omar meet each other in the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
The Trump administration’s new special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, collided Wednesday with freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a house hearing on the Caracas crisis, after the Congressman tried to focus on Abrams’ history in Latin America, while asked him, point-blank, whether he support of the “genocide”, when it serves American interests.
Abrams fired back, calling the discussion “ridiculous” and refuse to respond to the personal “attack.”
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The survey was the last moment in the spotlight for Omar, who earlier this week apologized for the tweets as anti-Semitic — and who previously criticized what she described as a “US-supported coup” in Venezuela, although many countries outside the USA have recognized, Juan Guaido, the opposition, the head of the national Assembly, as interim President, Nicolás Maduro.
On Wednesday, Omar your survey from Abrams started with his connection to the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, the U.S. support of right-wing government of José Napoleón Duarte during the Salvadoran civil war and Washington’s broader participation in Latin America the conflicts during the 1970s and 1980s.
“In 1991, you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information to Congress about their participation [in] the Iran-Contra affair, for which they were later pardoned by George H. W. Bush,” Omar said. “I can’t understand why members of this Committee or the American people any testimony that you give today, to be truthful.”
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The Iran-Contra affair involved, a senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitate the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo, in the hope to support with these funds to right-wing paramilitaries attempt to overthrow the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
Abrams tried to respond, but Omar said she was not asking a question, and went on to criticize him for his 1982 hearing before the Senate, in which he dismissed as “Communist propaganda”, the reports of the El Mozote massacre, where the Salvadoran army killed more than 800 civilians in 1981. The soldiers responsible for the massacre, the Atlacatl battalion, had recently, they were trained by the US armed forces.
“This is a ridiculous question,” Abrams responded, when Omar asked him if he thought the massacre was a “fabulous performance.” “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to respond to this kind of attack.”
Omar then asked if he would “the support of crimes against humanity or genocide, if you believe, they served US interests as they have in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.” Abrams in the past, Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt had defended, ran a campaign in which thousands of Guatemalans were killed or disappeared, and who was later convicted of genocide. Omar, though, also has criticism against the policy of the USA in Venezuela, and her questions seemed to suggest active U.S. opposition against Maduro, the overlooked, a complete economic collapse in Venezuela, could spiral into “genocide.”
Abrams replied: “I believe that this question is meant to be, real questions, and so I won’t answer.”
Umar then said, she wanted to know whether “a genocide took place, and they will look different, because American interests will have been confirmed.” Abrams said that American policy in Venezuela is the support of the Venezuelan people, the efforts to restore democracy.
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While the less contentious points in the house Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, the Abrams-who was recently named by Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, handle the U.S. policy in Venezuela-called for the members of the Committee, that while the administration prefers, economic, humanitarian and diplomatic channels to deal with the regime of the controversial Venezuelan President Maduro, the use of military force is not excluded.
“If we say that all options are on the table, all options are on the table,” Abrams said, adding that military force “is the preferred route and not the path we go down.”
The comments on Capitol Hill from Abrams came in as President, Trump met in the Oval Office with the President of Colombia, Ivan Duque. The two leaders spoke, among other things, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which sent an estimated has 1.14 million refugees in the neighboring country of Colombia.
Following the meeting, Trump’s coy remained about the possibility of sending troops to Venezuela – only, given a number of options are available, if Maduro is not a step down from the power supply.
“I’ve always said a plan B and C and D and E and F,” Trump. “A lot of things are not happening in Venezuela, that the people know there is a lot of support for what we do, tremendous support.”
In spite of the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela, caused by the widespread malnutrition, disease and violence, after 20 years of socialist rule in life by the late President Hugo Chavez. Critics say Maduro, Chavez’s handpicked successor, of undue elections to win in the past year for a second term of six years by the prohibition of its popular rivals from running and jailing others.
The United States and other Nations to want Maduro to resign, and national Assembly leader Guaido detected, such as Venezuela, the rightful leader. Venezuelans have also large protests, to leave the pressure Maduro.
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Venezuela’s opposition called to break their supporters to the streets across the country in a campaign, the military support of Maduro, while Maduro, the world rally supporters to demonstrations after more than a month of pressure from the leadership of Guaido.
“Right now, I’m going to give you this, to the armed forces: the possibility of humanitarian aid. This is an order”, Guaido said, the mass of people gathered in Caracas.
The fight now centers on the emergency food and medicine from the United States hinges on the Colombian border town of Cucuta.
Guaido said this week that he will try not to run to start the caravans of urgently needed food and medicines in Venezuela but, for almost two weeks. Maduro has aid deliveries blocked for his crisis-torn country, the aid-part of a U.S. call-led coup to overthrow him.
On Capitol Hill, Abrams is not possible to predict when Maduro would step referred to below, but to the fact that “a storm is brewing” in his government and the Venezuelan leader “will not be able to weather it much longer.”
Abrams noted to bite US oil sanctions, the economically devastated country and to expect that oil production will be reduced by half until the end of the year. He called for the dispute to leave forces in Venezuela, your support of Maduro and join Guaido s camp.
“There are off ramps, if you have the support of the Venezuelan people,” Abrams said of the Venezuelan military brass.
Fox News Virginia Nicolaidis and The Associated Press contributed to this report.