Feeling The Bern: Venezuela In Chaos

Venezuelans are feeling the Bern, as some enthusiastic Americans might say, while their far left-wing governmental system enters the final stage of socialism: terminal collapse.

From the New York Times:

As the effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela by referendum gains support, his government is ratcheting up repression. On Friday, Mr. Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency, saying it was necessary to quash what he described as a “coup” and confront “all the international and national threats our nation is facing.”

The threats Venezuelans face today are not the result of foreign or domestic conspiracies, but Mr. Maduro’s disastrous leadership. On his watch, the country’s health care system has atrophied so severely that scores of Venezuelans are dying every week because of chronic shortages of medicine and ill-equipped hospitals.

Violence has soared as armed gangs loyal to the government roam the streets. During the first three months of this year, 4,696 people were murdered in Venezuela, according to the government, and in 2015 more than 17,700 were killed. The three-month death toll is higher than the 3,545 civilians killed last year in Afghanistan, a record number.

Shortages of food and basic goods are likely to worsen as Venezuela’s economy continues to contract this year. Political prisoners, meanwhile, have languished behind bars for years, victims of a corrupt and broken justice system.

This crisis has exposed the hollow promise of the socialist policies Mr. Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, have peddled since the late 1990s. While many Venezuelans got a taste of prosperity in better housing, subsidized food and higher wages when oil prices were high — oil accounts for roughly 96 percent of Venezuela’s exports — the government failed to build anything resembling a sustainable economy. It also failed to save when money was flowing in, which would have softened the impact of the recession that began in 2014.

The first thing to recognize is this: voters in Venezuela are getting exactly what they deserve. Chavez did not seize power in Venezuela, but was democratically elected. I have zero sympathy for any Venezuelan who supported Hugo Chavez at any point in time.

From his wiki, we read this:

Chávez’s revolutionary rhetoric gained him support from Patria Para Todos (Fatherland for All), the Partido Comunist Venezolano (Venezeuelan Communist Party) and the Movimiento al Socialismo (Movement for Socialism). Chávez’s promises of widespread social and economic reforms won the trust and favor of the primarily poor and working class.

…Academic analysis of the election showed that Chávez’s support had come primarily from the country’s poor and “disenchanted middle class”, whose standard of living had decreased rapidly overthe previous decade, while much of the middle and upper class vote went to [his opponent].

So because the middle-class and the poor were dissatisfied with the direction the country was taking, they decided: “Let’s make theft an integral part of Venezuelan politics.” They thought they could elect a radical socialist who would give them the sun and the moon. “Finally,” they thought, “we’ll make those rich bastards pay!”

As it turns out, making state-sponsored theft into one of the guiding principles of your government leads to the whole country being plundered into poverty. This is exactly what has happened. Now, crowds riot over access to the most basic of goods, namely food.

Don’t believe me?

Chavez is now dead. The dim-witted and incompetent Nicolas Maduro, a former bus driver, was Chavez’ hand-picked successor. He won the presidential election in a landslide. He is continuing his mentor’s work: expanding taxation, expanding nationalization, expanding welfare.

He is also expanding chaos, violence, and poverty. These are the things he will be remembered most for.

Maduro is simply doing what voters asked him to do: plunder from others and waste resources. What else do you expect from a radical leftist? Just another Marxist loser trying to make Marxism work.

The most incredible part of it all is that Venezuela sits on some of the world’s largest oil reserves. They could be one of the richest nations in South America. But Chavez nationalized oil production and used the income to finance huge government bureaucracies and welfare boondoggles. Then oil revenue went down when the price crashed. Now the whole country is crashing.

The politics of envy – “Make those rich bastards pay!” – are the politics of theft. Theft and envy are immoral. Institutionalized immorality is destructive, always and everywhere. Voters who supported Chavez and Maduro deserve to have the whole damn thing explode in their faces.

As for the voters who have opposed Chavez and Maduro? God bless ’em. I hope they make it out of this in good enough shape to take the country in a new direction – free market and against welfare.

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