Venezuela is a disaster

If you want to destroy a country elect a socialist government, as they did in Venezuela. Venezuela may have had its problems, the gap between rich and poor was great and there was a need for greater transparency in government, but it was a fairly prosperous country, with a large petrochemical industry.  Now, it is a disaster, with the highest inflation rate in the world, a nationalized oil industry that has collapsed, no food, no money and almost continuous rioting.

Hugo Chavez, a left-wing military officer with political ambitions, was imprisoned for leading a coup attempt in 1992.  After two years he was released and formed a political party and was elected President for the first time in 1998.  He was elected President four times and during that time he changed Venezuela to a socialist system.  He nationalized the oil industry, which was by far the major earner of foreign income, he aligned his foreign policy with that of Cuba and was very anti-American and he gradually changed Venezuela from a democratic to an authoritarian system.

When he died of cancer in 2013 he passed the reins of power to his protegé Nicolas Maduro, who seems unable to run the country.  The situation inside Venezuela has rapidly worsened, with long food queues and empty supermarkets and many banks closed and little currency available, reminiscent of the Soviet Union.  This has led to demonstrations and rioting that has spread throughout the country.  Whereas the left started out with a little over 50% of the vote, now it is estimated that 95% of the population are against the current government. Yet, Maduro refuses to have elections and is trying to organize a new Congress that will consider his propositions for a new constitution that will give him unlimited power.  He will become the dictator of Venezuela, with full military support.

In clashes between civilians and military at least 200 people have been killed and the number may be much higher.  The Venezuelan government failed to diversify its sources of income and the reduction in the price of oil caught them napping.  Its anti-capitalist policies caused most rich Venezuelans to transfer their capital out of the country and its anti-Israel and anti-Semitic policies caused many of the Jewish community to flee. Its anti-American policies resulted in sanctions against Venezuela and the UN has also voted to impose sanctions against the country as a result of the anti-democratic policies of the socialist government.  If ever their was a poster-boy advert against socialism, Venezuela is it.  Enlightened democratic capitalism with a free market economy is the best system yet devised by man.  Communist China has reinvented capitalism with a market economy.  The fact of the matter is that socialism doesn’t work. .



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