Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of the greatest critics of the Venezuelan strong man Nicolás Maduro, sent out a graphic and cryptic tweet on Sunday showing a picture before and after by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi, who received the United States for decades, was deposited in a 2011 military intervention led by the United States. In the subsequent conflict, Libyan rebels found Gaddafi and brutally murdered him publicly. One still from a video of this play was one of the pictures in Rubio's post.
The Rubios tweet was widely interpreted as a message to Maduro, where he spun on Twitter among critics who saw it as a thinly blurred threat of US military intervention in Venezuela.
Rubio has not explicitly authorized military actions to force Maduro out, but he has previously suggested it and has generally said with President Donald Trump's belief that "every opportunity" should be on the table to achieve a regime change in Venezuela. (Rubio's office did not respond promptly to the tweet's request for comment.)
Tweeten got on the heels of a bloody Saturday in Venezuela, where at least four people were killed by pro-government forces trying to break a shipment of supplies from neighboring Colombia. Rubio, along with Trump and his administration, recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of the Venezuelan government.
Rubio, who is Cuban-American, is among the more hawkian members of the Senate and has typically led the tax on Capitol Hill to organize press campaigns against leftist forces in Latin America, especially in Venezuela and Cuba.
Back in 201
Rubio's traditionally right-wing foreign policy has violated Trump, which the Florida Republicans have cultivated as an ally. Rubio has criticized Trump's plans to reduce the US military footprint in Syria and has been an advocate of actively US involvement in forcing out the dictator Bashar al-Assad. He also criticized his olive trees for Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressed skepticism about looking for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.