Venezuela: Socialism Fails Still Again

So, just how bad is Venezuela? Bad enough that the AP is gone. From John Hinderaker at PowerLine.

The time comes when a country has spiraled so far downhill that it is no longer safe for journalists to cover its demise. That time has arrived in Venezuela. Hannah Dreier, who has been the Associated Press’s reporter in Venezuela since 2014, writes that she is going home: “Departing AP reporter looks back at Venezuela’s slide.” While her article doesn’t say this, it sounds like she won’t be replaced.

I don’t know Ms. Dreier, and I assume you have to be left-leaning to work for the Associated Press. But Dreier’s reporting from Venezuela has been clear-eyed and at times harrowing–appropriately so for a country in the last stages of socialism.

Dreier’s farewell article begins with her apprehension by a pair of Maduro’s thugs:

The first thing the muscled-up men did was take my cellphone. They had stopped me on the street as I left an interview in the hometown of the late President Hugo Chavez and wrangled me into a black SUV.
***
“What should we do with her?” the driver asked. The man next to me pulled his own head up by the hair and made a slitting gesture across his throat.

Well, they didn’t which is a very good thing, the rest of her article is a retrospective of her time there, and it’s pretty good.

I came to Caracas as a correspondent for The Associated Press in 2014, just in time to witness the country’s accelerating descent into a humanitarian catastrophe.

Venezuela had been a rising nation, buoyed by the world’s largest oil reserves, but by the time I arrived, even high global oil prices couldn’t keep shortages and rapid inflation at bay.

Life in Caracas was still often marked by optimism and ambition. My friends were buying apartments and cars and making lofty plans for their careers. On weekends, we’d go to pristine Caribbean beaches and drink imported whiskey at nightclubs that stayed open until dawn. There was still so much affordable food that one of my first stories was about a growing obesity epidemic.

Over the course of three years, I said good-bye to most of those friends, as well as regular long-distance phone service and six international airline carriers. I got used to carrying bricks of rapidly devaluing cash in tote bags to pay for meals. We still drove to the beach, but began hurrying back early to get off the highway before bandits came out. Stoplights became purely ornamental because of the risk of carjackings.

There was no war or natural disaster. Just ruinous mismanagement that turned the collapse of prices for the country’s oil in 2015 into a national catastrophe.

No doubt there was mismanagement, it’s a given if humans are involved (even in the programming). But, really, that merely means that no one is capable of managing the economy, no matter how brilliant they are. It simply can not be done. The only thing that works is everyone acting in what they perceive as their own interest, however they perceive that. Dreier seems to vaguely recognize that.

As things got worse, the socialist administration leaned on anti-imperialist rhetoric. The day I was put into the black SUV in Chavez’s hometown of Barinas coincided with a government-stoked wave of anti-American sentiment. The Drug Enforcement Administration had just jailed the first lady’s nephews in New York on drug trafficking charges, and graffiti saying “Gringo, go home” went up around the country overnight. An image of then-President Barack Obama with Mickey Mouse ears appeared on the AP office building.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro blames the U.S. and right-wing business interests for the economic collapse, but most economists say it actually stems from government-imposed price and currency distortions.

There often seemed to be a direct line between economic policy and daily hardship. One week, the administration declared that eggs would now be sold for no more than 30 cents a carton. The next week, eggs had disappeared from supermarkets, and still have not come back.

The collapse has been so quick that the trappings of flusher times have not yet disappeared. The capital is still filled with fine restaurants, though tables are often empty. Luxury car dealerships still line the streets and lure people with access to dollars or who have gotten rich off corruption.

John wraps up with this:

Do I really need to link to this one more time? Socialists are the most greedy and corrupt people on Earth. Hugo Chavez’s daughter and his finance minister are both multi-billionaires, as we wrote here and elsewhere. Socialists are not more moral than the rest of us. On the contrary, they are greedier and more cynical.

Socialism is evil, and must be ostracized as such. Venezuela’s collapse is just the latest in a long series of stories that remind us that the only path to freedom and prosperity is free enterprise.

Yep, you know that, as I do, and as most of us do. So why do those such as Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, and so many others keep pushing this nightmare. Could it be that in their corrupt souls they know they have nothing that would keep them in their desired station, so like the corrupt cronies in Caracas, they will attempt to steal it from those that earned it. Just like Lenin and Stalin. Just like Hitler and Mussolini. And just like Mao and Castro, and their hero Che Guevara. What was it Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over the same way and expecting a different result?

Do read the linked articles, there’s more there.

Any further questions? I thought not.

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About NEO
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7 Responses to Venezuela: Socialism Fails Still Again

  1. the unit says:

    Time must be approaching for another final solution for all the current deplorables, useless eaters and you name its.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Maybe, but I suspect that said deplorables do not plan to go alone into the dark night. Nor do the others. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Boudica2015.

    Like

  3. the unit says:

    Mickey Rooney tried to disprove Einstein’s Theorem eight times. I think he may have succeeded as I believe he was still married when he died. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Good point! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Socialism and Matrimonism. Stupid is as Stupid does! 🙂 Just kidding as to matrimony. 36 years for me…this time. 🙂

        🙂 again.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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