Venezuela’s leader is courting a growing, more socialism-friendly generation in America by co-opting the language of the millennial left.
Tony Frangie Mawad is an editorial intern at POLITICO Magazine. He’s written about politics and Venezuela for Bloomberg, the Economist, Caracas Chronicles and other publications.
Last summer, a delegation of eight Americans sat down in the grandiose hall of Miraflores Palace in Caracas for a formal meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The gathering, which was broadcast on Venezuelan state television and shared through the government’s social media networks, was something of a public-relations triumph for Maduro. His presidency is not formally recognized by the United States; the State Department considers it an illegitimate regime, “marked by authoritarianism, intolerance for dissent, and violent and systematic repression of human rights.”
On Venezuelan state television, the American delegation was framed as a bridge-building effort between the two countries. “Venezuela is looking to strengthen ties of brotherhood and solidarity with the American people, with the activists fighting for democracy,” the state TV narrator said.