Another Bernie bro who’s a gulag fan

Bernie Sanders

A couple of weeks ago we met Kyle Jurek, an Iowa field organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign who, thanks to the brilliant hidden-camera reportage of James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, was exposed as a bloodthirsty Communist who sees the Sanders candidacy as the first step in a much-needed revolution – indeed, as the prelude to a “Reign of Terror” which he and his comrades will kick off by gunning down some of their ideological enemies and shipping others off to a Gulag.

Kyle Jurek

Of course, as we pointed out in our account of Jurek, the fact that this nutbag is a fan of totalitarianism who looks forward to putting into practice the most sanguinary lessons of Lenin and Stalin doesn’t necessarily mean that Bernie shares his views. Then again, it says something that the Sanders campaign would have a guy like this on the payroll – and it said something, too, that, after the Project Veritas exposé of Jurek, the campaign refused to comment. At this writing, there’s no indication that Jurek has been cut loose.

Martin Weissgerber

And now there’s this. Jurek, it turns out, is not unique. The other day, after releasing two mind-blowing reports on Jurek, O’Keefe put out one about another Sanders staffer – namely, one Martin Weissgerber, who works as the campaign’s South Carolina field coordinator. This guy, it turned out, made Jurek look like an amateur. “I’m a communist,” Weissgerber told Project Veritas’s hidden-camera operative, who was posing as a journalist who shared his views. Weissgerber said that after Sanders’s inauguration, the Senate, House, and judiciary should be dissolved and Sanders should assume dictatorial powers. He said that he looked forward to “send[ing] the rich to the guillotine” and that he planned to “learn how to shoot” so that he could take an active part in the coming revolution. In this connection, he praised the Soviet Union for having developed the greatest gun ever, the AK-47, “the destroyer of imperialism and colonization.”

James O’Keefe

Like Jurek, Weissgerber is a fan of the gulags, which, he said, were much more humane that they’re given credit for. They were, he claimed, “re-education camps.” Like Jurek, he wants to bring them back, and fill them with Republicans and billionaires. Indeed, Weissgerber maintained that the USSR generally has been given a bum rap. “The Soviet Union was not horrible,” he claimed. It had great “women’s rights.” It was “progressive.” Weissgerber made it clear that he’s all about “complete seizure of the means of production.”

Who is this Weissgerber? He provided his interlocutor with a bit of personal history. He studied Soviet history in college. Both his parents are Communists, too. His dad is a Belgian who “took part in Paris 1968.” His mother, Kathleen McKenna, works for WBUR, an NPR station in Boston, where she is obliged to “keep her politics to herself.”

Kathleen McKenna

Weissgerber adores Bernie. He finds only one problem with the old fella: he’s not far left enough. Still, he’s a big step in the right direction.

And what does Bernie think of Weissgerber? Valerie Richardson answered that question in The Washington Times on January 23. When Project Veritas called a Sanders field office in South Carolina to ask for a comment on the staffer’s remarks, the Sanders people phoned the North Charleston police and accused Project Veritas of harassment. A police officer then called Project Veritas and told them that the Sanders people would have no comment. “They are aware of videos you guys took, the undercover stuff,” said the cop. “It’s one of those things where they wish he hadn’t said that, but they’re still standing by him or whatever.” As for Jurek, Richardson reported that “Sanders state director Missy Rebik tweeted last week that Iowans ‘don’t care about political gossip.’” In short, the Sanders campaign is standing by both of these Communists. What more do we need to know?

As we said in our piece on Jurek, we’re not in the habit of taking sides in elections. But the Sanders outfit isn’t just another campaign. Jurek and Weissgerber are useful stooges of the first order. How many more of them are there in the ranks of Sanders’ people? If we feel obliged to help draw attention to O’Keefe’s revelations, moreover, it’s because virtually the whole mainstream media has done its best to ignore them. And if there’s one thing we know at this site, it’s that ignoring useful stooges in positions of power is never a good idea.

It’s 2020, and Maduro hasn’t gone away yet

Juan Guaidó

The early days of 2019 were a time of hope for freedom lovers in Venezuela. On January 5, Juan Guaidó, became President of the National Assembly; just a few days later, after chavista leader Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for a second term after an election that was widely viewed as suspicious, Guaidó told attendees at a huge rally that Maduro was a dictator and a usurper and that, in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, he, Guaidó, would assume the nation’s presidency and, as he wrote shortly thereafter in a Washington Post op-ed, “restore democracy in Venezuela.”

Nicolas Maduro

Things looked promising. On January 23, Guaidó declared himself president. He was quickly recognized as such by the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the Organization of American States, as well as by sixty-odd other countries around the world. It was hoped that the Venezuelan military would act in accordance with the wishes of democratic-minded Venezuelans and of international supporters of liberty by compelling Maduro to step down and hand over power to Guaidó.

Trump meets with Guiado’s wife, Fabiana Rosales, in March 2019

Alas, one country in the Western hemisphere was conspicuously missing from that list of Guaidó’s supporters: Cuba, of course. And thanks to Cuba, it proved harder to oust Maduro than some observers – and Guaidó himself – expected. For Maduro, it turned out, was not as dumb as he looks. During his presidency, the highest ranking officers in the Venezuelan military had been collaborating closely with Cuban officials who had been sent by the Castro regime and stationed in Venezuela to participate in an effort – a successful one, alas – to ruthlessly purge Maduro’s armed forces of anyone who was suspected of anything but total loyalty to the regime. So it was that the military on which Guaidó had counted for support did everything it could to prop up Maduro.

Code Pink embassy protesters

Meanwhile, allies of Maduro in the U.S. were doing everything they could to prevent democracy from coming to Venezuela. In the spring, the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C., was occupied by members of Code Pink and other radical-left groups that, in the wake of the Trump administration’s recognition of Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, sought to keep any diplomats appointed by Guaidó out of the embassy. This spectacle, played out on the leafy streets of Georgetown, was a disgraceful example of free people using their own freedom to help deny freedom to others.

Guaido tries to get to the Assembly by going over a fence

It was all quite dispiriting. With Maduro in firm control of the military – not to mention the apparatus of government, the judiciary, and the police – the only significant body that stood up against the power of the regime was the legislature, the National Assembly, of which Guaidó continued to serve as president. Only five days into 2020, Maduro made his move to squelch that last outpost of opposition. On his orders, as NPR’s Scott Neuman reported, Venezuelan National Guardsmen “in riot gear” physically prevented Guaidó and other anti-Maduro legislators from attending a special session of the Assembly, where the plan for the day was to elect a new Assembly president. Since Guaidó’s allies make up a majority of the Assembly, it was expected that he would be expeditiously re-elected to that post. Instead, he ended up in what Neuman described as a “scuffle” with Maduro’s thugs and walked away with his suit torn. With him and his allies missing from the conclave, the supporters of Maduro who were allowed to enter the chamber swore in one of their own, Luis Parra, as their new leader. Later the same day, however, members of the anti-Maduro parliamentary majority, meeting at the offices of the opposition newspaper El Nacional, overturned that outrageous action – which, Neuman noted, had been taken without a formal vote – and re-elected Guaidó.

“Sunday’s events,” wrote Neuman, “leave open the question of who controls the legislature, and the fight for control is likely to continue.” And needless to say it does not look as if the larger question – that of who controls Venezuela itself – will be settled anytime soon, either.