FLASHBACK: Did Ron DeSantis Support the Maidan Coup of 2014 in Ukraine?
On December 4, 2013, several Republican elected officials sent a letter to then-Secretary of State John Kerry expressing their “deep concern” over the situation that took place in Ukraine at the time.
Why did Ron Desantis back a coup in Ukraine way back in 2013? Why was he aligning with the worst neocons (one of which a proud NAFO fella: @AdamKinzinger). Remember that W Bush was pushing an anti-war position in 2000, and then look what happened. Desantis is just a smarter Bush. pic.twitter.com/Aj30uf4b5U
— Bane (@dink________) October 11, 2022
This was when many pro-Western Ukrainians took to the streets to protest then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s reversal of a policy that would have had Ukraine enter a trade deal with the European Union. This agreement would have liberalized trade between the EU and Ukraine, relaxed several visa restrictions, and opened the door for Ukraine to join the EU in the near future.
Due to Yanukovich’s reversal, Ukrainians went out on the streets of Kiev and various other cities nationwide to protest this move and push the government to reverse course.
What concerned the elected officials who signed this letter was the timing of Yanukovich’s decision. It came after he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who allegedly threatened to sanction the Ukrainian government with severe economic sanctions if it signed the EU agreement.
On top of that, the Republican lawmakers were concerned about how Yanukovich refused to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was imprisoned for allegedly engaging in “abuse of power” and embezzlement.
Many observers believe that Tymoshenko’s imprisonment was an act of political retribution for the significant role she played in leading the 2004 Orange Revolution that saw Yanukovich lose in a second runoff election against Viktor Yushchenko.
The concerned Republicans called on the US government to stand with its EU allies and guide Ukraine towards the path to European integration.
They stressed that “We cannot allow President Putin to undermine these efforts through the threats of economic retaliation or implied force.” The congressman added that “remaining silent on this issue sends the wrong message to our allies and erodes our strength as an economic and strategic partner.”
In this letter, members of Congress such as Tom Cotton, George Holding, Scott Perry, Adam Kinzinger, Tom Marino, and Randy Weber penned their signatures and called for the US government to firmly stand behind Ukraine.
However, the most notable of the signatories was then-Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis. In the present, DeSantis is seen as the most influential figure in the GOP who can continue the populist legacy of former President Donald Trump.
DeSantis’ foreign policy has been the subject of much speculation. He has questionable track record of being hawkish towards Iran and has strong connections to Zionist lobbies, which makes him very much a part of the foreign policy mainstream in Republican circles.
While DeSantis’ domestic policies are commendable, especially during the COVID-1984 era, there are still many questions that he must answer on foreign policy.
Hopefully, America First nationalists can insert themselves in DeSantis’ inner circle and be able to sway his opinion should the Florida Governor assume higher office at the federal level. If the history of the conservative movement has taught us anything, it’s that disappointment is always around the corner.
To ensure that America First principles live on in American politics constant vigilance of politicians is of the essence.