Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change

You might hope that at least the United States Libertarian Party could be counted on not to support the US government’s effort to install its chosen politician as president of Venezuela. Oh well. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Earlier this month, a “Dear Libertarian” letter from party chairman Nicholas Sarwark appeared on the Libertarian Party’s website in which Sarwark promotes viewing a video by Kyle Varner – described by Sarwark as a party member – in which Varner delivers the US government’s regime change line in regard to the South America country.

In the video, Varner, purporting to speak for the Libertarian Party and all libertarians, compares Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro to Adolf Hitler, places the blame on the Venezuela government for problems in the country while neglecting to mention US sanctions or any other US government efforts that contribute to suffering in the Venezuela, and praises Juan Guaidó who is seeking to overthrow the Venezuela government and who the US government has been calling the “interim president” of Venezuela.

As if to make the support for a US government-orchestrated regime change operation in Venezuela yet more clear, Varner in the video even promotes that the “Chicago Boys” can improve things in Venezuela after the country’s current government is replaced. “Chicago Boys” is a reference to University of Chicago-connected individuals that played a prominent role in the Chile government after a successful US-supported regime change in that country in 1973.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

28 thoughts on “Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change”

      1. I’m sure you know the difference between the purists and the pragmatists. The LP is hardly purist libertarian, and if regime change isn’t neoconservative then I don’t know what is.

        Your Rational Review disappeared from diaspora*?

        1. The Libertarian Party does not support “regime change,” if by “regime change” you mean the United States interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.

          The national LP did recently post a video made by a member advocating against Maduro and for Guaido in Venezuela. I don’t speak Spanish very well and didn’t notice if the guy called for the US to back Guaido. Either way, there’s considerable internal debate on that posting, and the LP’s platform is clearly and unambiguously against foreign military interventionism:

          3.1 National Defense: “We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.”

          3.3 International Affairs: “American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.”

          Not that I necessarily agree with all of the above (I’m ambivalent about allowing the state to maintain a standing military at all), but those are the party’s positions.

          Rational Review is still on Diaspora:

          https://joindiaspora.com/people/187447f02c4e0135f35c0242ac110007

          1. This is the title of the article we are posting about right now:

            Libertarian Party Chairman Promoting Video Calling for Venezuela Regime Change

            That seems unambiguous to me, regardless what the party platform may proclaim.

            Anyway, keep up the good work then.

          2. I’m well aware of the article — and of its careful wording, which you might do well to pay attention to.

            On the one hand, the party’s chair scored an own goal, and I don’t know why he did that. On the other hand, the purpose of the piece was to attack the chair by implying something without taking the risk of actually saying it. That’s been a fairly standard paleocon tactic the last few years. He’s in the way of their attempted takeover and de-libertarianization of the LP and it just bugs the hell out of them that he’s been elected three times, including defeating a pretty much maximum effort last year.

          3. No, the nuance and derision of the article was not lost on me. The LP is a lost cause. They are not a party of principle and their very existence is a pathetic irony.

            Sounds like it bugs the hell out of you though.

          4. Meh.

            On the one hand, I’ve been involved with the party for close to 25 years, run for public office on its ticket several times, served as a federal appointee with an L next to my name, chaired a county party, served on its national committee, platform committee, delegate to seven national conventions, etc. So yeah, I’m somewhat invested in it.

            On the other hand, lately it mostly bores me. It has systemic/internal problems that it can’t seemingly be bothered to solve, and for the last three presidential cycles it’s turned its presidential ticket over to Republicans who came to the LP because they couldn’t top 1% in their own party’s primary polling.

            Is it a problem that that particular video went out under the national party’s imprimatur? Sure. A tiny problem with an easy fix (don’t do it again).

            Is the party neocon, or even interventionist? Nope.

          5. Well, I know as an individual you’ve helped people. Pretty sure you’ll find my name among your early email list subscribers (shawnosa then) — sometime back in the early/mid-aughts. I looked forward to it as it was one of the few reasonable voices I could find back then.

            As far as the party goes, I believe it does more harm than good. It gives libertarianism a bad name and leaves people with a wrong, lasting impression of what libertarianism is and stands for. Tell someone you’re libertarian and you’re greeted with ridicule, contempt and disdain (etc). That’s always nice. So I just don’t tell people anymore. I just say I’m non-political.

            Well. So.

          6. While I don’t necessarily agree with your position entirely, I understand and respect it. I took a four-year break from the LP because I decided electoral politics just wasn’t an effectual route and that even if it was the LP wasn’t likely to crack the nut. I returned more for social reasons — most of my friends are party members and if I get to see them it’s usually at party functions — than because I expect to see a Libertarian (or, more importantly, libertarian) president and Congress elected and for that president and Congress to “fix” things.

  1. No way. I see this as more about being supportive of efforts by the 2 Libertarian parties, several think tanks, and many LIO fans in Venezuela still working for peaceful change. Imperfect, but sure better than what AntiWar is doing or the Ron Paul Institute. Socialist Guaido isn’t much of a choice, however. Paul needs to stop shilling for extremists whether anti-abortion or pro-Communists.

    Enough of the Chile already. The country was teetering on communist-directed genocide and in an undeclared war with the USSR. Innocents were killed, but most were people plotting the murder of their neighbors and got what they deserved. Socialists were murdering people in the streets when the army took action. The generals saved democracy, were acting legally, and put Chile back on the path it’s on today. What Chile needs is a war-crimes trial of the left.

    1. Quit huffing glue and upvoting your own posts and try opening up a goddamn history book. “The generals saved democracy (?)” They killed 3,000 people and tortured at least 27,000 more. They trained dogs to rape women and murdered nuns. There was no “communist-directed genocide” in the works, just a democratically elected Marxist who wouldn’t roll over for Uncle Sam.

      1. Because of this website, when I speak to a libertarian I expect Scott Horton – – – what I usually get is cryptocurrency scammers and Pinochet apologists.

        The ultra-capitalism part of libertarianism is non-negotiable, but the anti-imperialism (or even anti-authoritarian) aspect is very optional.

        That tension emerged when Horton interviewed Max Blumenthal and the topic moved to the N.E.D-funded libertarian think-tanks helping to coup Venezula and Brazil. Guiado’s crowd is Cato and Koch-funded.

        Horton was right to insist that sort of libertarianism was a evil dopplerganger of his libertarianism (…just as a believe that anyone who supports any imperial war is not a leftist…) but I’ve also seen Blumenthal’s video of the NED conference where there were many state-funded libertarian activists boasting of coups to “destroy socialism” as their primary goal.

        Last week I saw a video of the Prouds Boys chanting “Pinochet was Right!” illustrating the large role of libertariam thought among the ‘alt-right’/’Generation South Park’ and the centrality of ‘killing leftists’ to both philosophies.

        I will always have respect for this site but many libertarians scare me.

        1. Many people who call themselves libertarians have no idea what that word really means. It covers a wide variety of philosophies from Agorism to Syndicalism, but one ism it doesn’t include is Imperialism.

          1. I guess we’ll see a real test soon.

            Has Raimondo been right about Trump’s anti-war/isolationist bent despite all the neo-cons he has surrounded himself with?

            Trump’s been playing the “reluctant warrior” card so heavy lately that Raimondo’s columns are a part of that narrative. Like qanon that narrative has mostly served to dilute opposition during a build-up to a war with Iran.

            My read is that most of Trump’s funders want a war with Iran and currently they are 3/4 of the way there, hoping to economically strangle Iran so that it ‘pearl harbors’ it’s way out.

            In 2017 Bolton wrote that “Iran is not likely to seek further negotiations once the JCPOA is abrogated, but the Administration may wish to consider rhetorically leaving that possibility open” so the illusion of US negotiation/good-intentions is part of Bolton’s strategy.

            I respect Raimondo and his anti-imperial politics but having watched Trump appoint 3 different varieties of neo-cons as his national security advisers, I suspect the “reluctant warrior” is part Trump’s vanity, part his eye on electoral politics and part of the usual narrative of US wars.

          2. Neither Raimondo or Trump have any right to call themselves libertarians. War with Iran remains very possible. The influence of few half-decent paleos like Rand Paul and Tucker Carlson may be our only hope for peace. God help us. Trump is insane. Pompeo, Pence and Bolton are even worse.

          3. Thanks for the responses. In your own way you maintain the high regard I’ve always had for this website.

            I remember the 2006 Crossfire segment where John Stewart debated Tucker Carlson. Carlson came off like an entitled rich kid who knew all he had to do succeed in life was conform. Stewart was hip and earnest.

            It was later that year I understood that the Daily Show Democrats and South Park Republicans were the controlled opposition – both owned by Viacom (CEO Sumner Redstone).

            Scott Horton claims that Carlson’s interview with a military general averted an airforce strike on Iran.
            Having to thank Tucker Carlson for contributing to peace sounds so soul-nauseatingly horrible that it must be true – because it is what I’m used in this ‘Wars of Terror’ landscape.

            A reality-TV star president with his finger on the nuclear button taking military advice from a FOX host sounds about the terrorizing norm.

  2. My free advice, start a new libertarian party the Local Libertarian party. The Local Libertarian party would only run candidates in local elections for mayor or lower and possibly state government, but not federal elections.

    1. There are plenty of local Libertarian Parties, which is why there are hundreds of local Libertarian elected and appointed officials. We also occasionally elected a state legislator or three (that tends to be a local Party effort).

      There used to be a handful of federal Libertarian appointees (I was one of them). Not sure if there are any left.

      The Libertarian Party is never going to win federal elections if it doesn’t contest federal elections. Self-imposed exclusive localism is just a longer way of saying suicide.

      1. If that’s true then that’s incredibly sad. I don’t know a lot about Sarwark but I know more than I wish I did about his chum Varner’s “Chicago Boys.” One of the darkest chapters in the history of Austrian market chicanery. Libertarians need to separate themselves from that kind of malignant global capitalism if they ever want to be taken seriously by the left.

          1. Now your just splitting hairs over semantics. I never claimed to know all of Sarwark’s “chums”, I claimed that he endorsed the opinion of an asshole with clear colonialist leanings and that doing such damages his credibility. Endorsing a diatribe that lionizes corporate stooges who openly collaborate with a violent fascist regime shows poor moral fortitude. If you’re his friend, then ask him what I’m asking you right now; What the f**k?

          2. I’m unaware that he “endorsed” Varner’s statement.

            The only problem I have with Varner’s statement is that I’d rather the party concentrate on US foreign policy instead of opining on other countries’ internal politics. Guaido and company might be a little bit better or a little bit worse than Maduro. That’s for Venezuelans, not me, to figure out.

  3. I dumped the national party right after their response to 9-11. Clearly they are still just as F’d up.

    And I see some folks pointing to local party organizations. Indeed, my vice-chairmanship of two different local county parties was quite a great experience, with sound, principled libertarianism being their permanent hallmark. They may be all the good that is left of the LP.

    1. I resigned from the LNC (I was an alternate) shortly after (and partially because of) their milquetoast, contentless, cowardly resolution on the invasion of Afghanistan. The resolution tried to have it both ways and no way at all. I pushed for a resolution against the invasion. The LNC’s secretary at that time argued that that would “marginalize” the LP. I pointed out that the percentage of Americans who opposed the invasion was 40 times the percentage of Americans who usually voted for our presidential candidate, so it would be difficult for us to “marginalize” ourselves further.

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