News & Politics

A Message to Maduro? Rubio Tweets Pic of Bloodied Muammar Gaddafi

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got the interwebs buzzing on Sunday by tweeting this:

In case you had sent that face down the memory hole, the before-and-after pictures show former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who met his end at the hands of rebel forces after the coward was dragged out of a drain pipe in 2011.

Was the tweet a veiled threat directed at embattled (and contested) Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro? While he didn’t explicitly say that, Rubio certainly implied with the tweet that Maduro’s days might be numbered.

Rubio has been one of the loudest critics of Maduro, who closed the borders on Saturday, blocking humanitarian aid and setting fire to trucks carrying supplies intended to ease the suffering of the starving Venezuelan people. His government also fired on protesters, killing at least four.

Rubio responded to Saturday’s actions, saying that Maduro’s regime had opened the door to “various potential multilateral actions not on the table just 24 hours ago.”

A couple hours before he sent the Gaddafi tweet on Sunday, Rubio posted another message:

“Devastating headlines around the world today for the ” Rubio wrote. “Their international isolation will grow, the routes for evading sanctions will shrink & the willingness of many nations to support stronger multilateral actions to dislodge them has increased dramatically.”

Later in the day, Rubio tweeted a video of what appeared to be aid trucks under fire.

“Growing body of video & photographic evidence of the crimes committed yesterday by #MaduroCrimeFamily in #Venezuela,” wrote Rubio. “They open fire on cargo truck they are chasing. The finally corner it & execute the driver.”

Vice President Pence met with (also contested) President Juan Guaido in Columbia on Monday. Pence assured Guaido, who has been recognized as the true president Venezuela by hundreds of nations since he took the oath of office in January, that President Trump has “made clear, all options are on the table.” Pence also announced additional sanctions on Venezuela and called on other nations to assist in U.S. efforts to dry up Maduro’s cash supply

Rubio tweeted his approval of Pence’s condemnation of Maduro’s regime.

He also called on the intel community to do more to kneecap Maduro:

And he pointed out that more and more members of the military are abandoning their posts:

The left (of course) is freaking out over the tweet:

They’re apparently under the illusion that peace, love, and fair dust will solve the problems in Venezuela.

Did Rubio’s tweet strike fear in the heart of Maduro or give him a propaganda tool that will help him to keep the military on his side? It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming weeks as Venezualans become more restless and opposition leaders ramp up their protests. One thing we do know: Rubio has been a tireless champion for people suffering under the regimes of brutal dictators in both Venezuela and Cuba. For that, he deserves an enormous amount of credit.

Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard