Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Right on Venezuela, Fox News Host Trish Regan Says

Fox Business Network host Trish Regan has praised a number of Democratic lawmakers for their stance on Venezuela, even going as far as applauding New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—a favored target of the right—for acknowledging the humanitarian and political crisis gripping the country.

In a clip from her Trish Regan Primetime show hosted on the Fox Business website, Regan said the Democratic Party was still struggling to agree on a stance toward Venezuela. The South American nation is currently caught in a power struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and self-declared Interim President Juan Guaidó, who leads the anti-Maduro National Assembly.

President Donald Trump's administration has recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, and multiple South American and European powers are pressuring Maduro to step down and his loyal military to abandon him. On the other side, Russia and China are backing Maduro.

"This is one issue that should not be up for debate," Regan said. She singled out Ocasio-Cortez and New Jersey Senator Bob Menéndez for speaking out against Maduro's regime.

Regan noted that Menéndez has "been in front from the beginning." "Human suffering is not, nor should it ever be, a political issue," Regan said. Menéndez has been involved in bipartisan lobbying for Guaidó, and on the day the 35-year-old declared himself interim president, Menéndez issued a joint statement with Republican Senator Marco Rubio in support of the move.

Ocasio-Cortez "deserves a little credit as well for recognizing that Venezuela is a total failure of democracy," Regan suggested. She was presumably referring to an Instagram live broadcast by the congresswoman at the end of February, in which Ocasio-Cortez said the debate over Venezuela is not about ideology, but rather "authoritarianism versus democracy." She went on to talk about "other failed states" including Zimbabwe, but she did not explicitly say Venezuela was in the same category.

Regan contrasted Menéndez and Ocasio-Cortez with progressive icon and 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, who earlier this week was criticized for stopping short of calling Maduro a dictator.

"There should be no Democrats on the fence on this issue," Regan argued, saying lawmakers "should think through the challenges in Venezuela long and hard. Aside from the obvious security risk of embattled President Nicolas Maduro courting the Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, Hezbollah and the Turks—there are millions that are suffering."

Oil-rich Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest nations in South America. However, a collapse in the price of crude oil combined with long-term economic mismanagement has left the country in the grips of long-lasting economic crises.

Unemployment is high, inflation has made the currency near-worthless and the government has been unable to import a wide range of day-to-day goods, including foodstuffs, medicine and fuel. Millions have already fled the country in the hope of a better quality of life. Maduro has blamed the turmoil on a U.S.-led economic war, conducted in coordination with regional rivals such as Colombia.

"We must be united in our recognition of this crisis. It's not a time to play politics," Regan said. Despite this call to action, she devoted a significant portion of the monologue to a criticism of socialism as a political ideology, arguing it is incompatible with a functioning democracy.

"So, thank you AOC, thank you Senator Menéndez and thank you to every Republican and every Democrat that is willing to put political differences aside and recognize this disaster for what it is in Venezuela," she concluded. "Let us be united in identifying the crisis for what it is."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Venezuela Fox News Trish Regan
Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill, on February 27. Fox News Business host Trish Regan applauded Ocasio-Cortez—a favored target of the right—for acknowledging the humanitarian and political crisis gripping Venezuela. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images