Speaking to a crowd at Florida International University in Miami on Monday, President Donald Trump cited several Latin American countries that have suffered greatly at the hands of socialist and communist ideologies, vowing to aid the effort to eradicate socialism from these lands.
Earlier this month, Trump boldly declared during his State of the Union address that “America will never be a socialist country,” drawing much applause from many attendees, to the clear agitation of former presidential candidate and socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 6, 2019
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” Trump said. “America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”
And while a new wave of Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez have gained popularity by openly espousing socialist views, President Trump has continually stressed the dangers of the political ideology, citing countries like Venezuela as evidence of the evils socialism has produced.
“The days of socialism and communism are numbered, not only in Venezuela, but in Nicaragua and Cuba as well,” Trump told the crowd Monday, as reported by The Hill. “In Venezuela and across the Western Hemisphere, socialism is dying, and liberty, prosperity and democracy are being reborn.”
The president reaffirmed his support for Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó, who has sought to remove socialist President Nicolás Maduro from power. Following mass demonstrations last month, the young opposition leader declared himself the interim president of the stricken country.
After Trump declared his backing of Guaidó, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay and Costa Rica all announced their intention to support the opposition leader.
In his speech Monday, Trump deemed socialism the primary cause of the economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which was once the most prosperous country in Latin America.
“Years of socialist rule have brought this once thriving nation to the brink of ruin,” he said. “Socialism by its very nature does not respect borders. It does not respect the boundaries or the sovereign rights of its citizens or its neighbors. It’s always seeking to expand, to encroach and subjugate others to its will.”
Trump also mentioned Cuba and Nicaragua, noting that the countries have “great potential” if they could just abandon socialism and communism.
“This will never happen to us … ,” the president said, according to Fox News. “To those who would try to impose socialism on the United States, we again deliver a very simple message: America will never be a socialist country.”