After 24 hours of minute-by-minute updates on the failed push to deliver humanitarian aid in Venezuela, Marco Rubio tweeted his first omen at 2 a.m Sunday.
On the left was a picture of a sword-wielding Manuel Noriega, the leftist Panamanian dictator. On the right was Noriega’s jail photo in Miami. Fourteen hours later, Rubio posted a picture of a grinning Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi next to an image of his bloody face minutes before his death. He followed it up with a photo of communist Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu being led to his death after a military tribunal.
The posts, which included no further explanation, caused a stir. Many Venezuelans praised Rubio. Critics said the graphic photos don’t help Rubio’s cause of ending the humanitarian crisis and questioned the use of Gaddafi in particular, given Libya’s ongoing civil war and migration crisis. Social-media users reported the bloody Gaddafi image to Twitter, which resulted in its being flagged for containing sensitive material.
Rubio told the Miami Herald that the posts are “a reminder that things don’t turn out so well for dictators. Their own people get rid of them.”
Rubio said the posts were not a call for military force in Venezuela, and repeated that it’s President Donald Trump’s decision to use military force and that Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro is the only person being violent right now. Two of the three dictators in Rubio’s tweets, Gaddafi and Ceausescu, died at the hands of their own people. Noriega was ousted in a U.S. invasion and brought to the U.S. on drug and money laundering charges, and he spent the rest of his life in prison before his death in 2017.
“The Maduro regime has a lot of the attributes of the dictatorships that look strong and then suddenly collapse,” Rubio said.
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