After surviving challenges to his power, Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro is branching out to spread his influence into the United States, meeting with leftist activists Friday, according to reports.
Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) officials met with Maduro, including the chair of the DSA's National Political Committee, members of the International Committee, Political Formation, Foreign Policy and Bilateral Relations committees, Telesur reported.
The DSA supported Maduro's struggling regime in 2016, demanding then-President Barack Obama to lift sanctions on Venezuela.
"We call on the president and Congress to reverse these actions and stop seeking to undermine the Venezuelan people and their legitimate, democratically elected government," the DSA said.
When former President Donald Trump took office, his administration backed his opponent Juan Guaidó in 2019.
The meeting sought to strengthen "ties of cooperation, brotherhood, and solidarity with activists and the people of the United States," according to the English version of Telesur, which also denounced "the blockade and the coercive and unilateral measures imposed by the government of the United States."
The DSA, which boasts more than 100,000 members, was founded in the U.S. in 1982. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., caucuses with Democrats but runs as an independent and self-identifies as a Democratic-socialist.
The Marxist group seeks to dismantle capitalism and move democracies to socialism.
"Capitalism is a system designed by the owning class to exploit the rest of us for their own profit," DSA's website reads. "We must replace it with democratic socialism, a system where ordinary people have a real voice in our workplaces, neighborhoods, and society.
"We believe there are many avenues that feed into the democratic road to socialism. Our vision pushes further than historic social democracy and leaves behind authoritarian visions of socialism in the dustbin of history."
It promotes Sanders and progressive agenda items like Medicare for All, defunding the police, and the Green New Deal.
"We want to collectively own the key economic drivers that dominate our lives, such as energy production and transportation," the website added.
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