In what appeared to be a message to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), tweeted a picture of a bloody Muammar Gaddafi, the former Libyan leader who was brutally killed in the streets after the United States helped to overthrow him as part of a NATO-led intervention.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 24, 2019
Rubio is one of the loudest voices in the Senate backing the United States’ recognition of Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president. Maduro has refused demands to resign. TPM has reached out to a spokesperson for Rubio for comment.
The U.S. has left its options open in the country, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday not ruling out military action to replace Maduro.
Years of violent turmoil have followed Gaddafi’s ouster, but his overthrow and death in 2011 were viewed favorably by some.
As then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton infamously said of Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”
And Rubio said following Gaddafi’s death, referring to President Barack Obama’s strategy in Libya: “He did the right things. He just took too long to do it and didn’t do enough of it.”
Asked in 2016 about the worst mistake he made as President, Obama responded: “Probably failing to plan for the day after, what I think was the right thing to do, in intervening in Libya.”
Matt Duss, a foreign policy adviser for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), called the tweet “an outstanding argument against US-backed regime change.”
While tweeting this is deeply sick, it does work as an outstanding argument against US-backed regime change. https://t.co/6W2cBrDNwG
— Matt Duss (@mattduss) February 24, 2019
“You really have to be a special breed of warmongering, interventionist loon to think this tweet is a good idea,” wrote Doug Stafford, who served as an adviser on Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) 2016 presidential bid and was Paul’s Senate chief of staff before that. “Or to think Libya, Iraq, Syria etc were good and should be repeated.”
You know what, I was half kidding yesterday about live tweeting his little regime-change play.
You really have to be a special breed of warmongering, interventionist loon to think this tweet is a good idea. Or to think Libya, Iraq, Syria etc were good and should be repeated. https://t.co/d0jepJ1Tph
— Doug Stafford (@dougstafford) February 24, 2019
This post has been updated.