The discussion, which comes as Trump prepares for a tough re-election fight, puts at odds two themes expected to play starring roles in the 2020 race: Trump's tough-on-immigration stance and his desire to highlight the plight of Venezuelans under a socialist government as he tries to paint Democrats as radical leftists who will lead the U.S. down the same path.
You mean the plight of Venezuelans under US sanctions.
Look, if the US becomes more socialistic, the US isn't going to suddenly have extremely expensive oil to refine with falling oil prices upon which the US relies for about half its income. The US isn't going to sanction itself or twist the arms of foreign leaders to sanction the US. The US isn't going to use the black market to debauch its own currency. Those, among other things, are what's caused the Venezuelan economy to hurt, not socialism, per se.
What socialism has done in Venezuela is vastly increase literacy, medical care, and social housing for the otherwise homeless. It has vastly increased democratic participation at the local level. The US would do well to follow Venezuela's social-democracy-light approach and then greatly enhance it.
The major mistakes Venezuela has made are 1) not diversifying the economy when oil prices were going up and at their peak and 2) trusting that the US neocons wouldn't be back with more than a vengeance supporting coups and would-be dictators throughout South and Central America, including in Venezuela.