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Bernie Sanders Has a Soft Spot for Latin American Strongmen And it could hurt him in the election.

On Tuesday, as part of the rollout of his second run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders spoke with Univision’s Jorge Ramos. After asking Sanders about his domestic platform, Ramos used the last couple of minutes to inquire about Venezuela. “Do you consider Juan Guaidó the legitimate president of Venezuela?” he asked. It’s a relevant question, not only because Venezuela’s catastrophe seems to worsen every day and will likely become a complex diplomatic challenge in the months ahead for the United States and the rest of the Americas, but also because the U.S. president whom Sanders hopes to unseat would be more than happy to make next year’s election a referendum on socialism.

Just this past Monday, a few hours before Sanders announced his decision to join an already crowded Democratic field, Donald Trump took the stage in Miami to deliver an impassioned condemnation of the Nicolás Maduro regime that quickly became a denunciation of socialism in general and a politically convenient warning for the United States. “Socialism has so completely ravaged this great country [Venezuela] that even the world’s largest reserves of oil are no longer enough to keep the lights on. This will never happen to us,” Trump said, continuing a theme he had broached during his State of the Union address.

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