[February 21, 2016] The country of Venezuela continues its economic and social slide downward into the abyss of socialism. There was hope with the election of new members to its parliament but their weak efforts have not stemmed the country’s violence, crippling shortages of goods, or loss of jobs. Venezuela’s President Maduro continues to blame the country’s woes on everyone but his own leadership and the socialist state.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and the cheapest gasoline that can be purchased anywhere. Maduro even gives away oil to Cuba in return for their doctors and technicians to help. One would expect such a rich country not to experience such problems but in a socialist state people learn to expect their government to solve all their problems. Ask any citizen of a socialist nation and they will tell you that it’s their right to have the government provide basic human rights such as electricity, water, education, medical care … all for free.
Those in the United States and elsewhere who favor a move toward socialism should take a closer look at Venezuela, not as an outlier and poor example of failed socialism, but as the classic case of the revolution of socialism and its abject failure. The old Soviet Union is another example, along with Cuba, China, and Vietnam. Russia, China, and Vietnam have done better but only after adopting less radical socialism and more capitalism in the economic policies. Yet each of them continue to struggle with lagging industrial production, pollution, spot shortages of goods, and a demoralized citizenry. North Korea comes to mind as the Asian version of Venezuela.
The run-up to the election for the U.S. presidency, pits a socialist view against how the U.S. has operated since its inception. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the Democrat side, each are providing socialism as a solution to a lagging economy, widening of the income gap, a high incarceration rate of racial minorities, and an economic sector that benefits only a few. If they want to use socialism as a solution to America’s woes then they should study Venezuela (along with North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, China, and the USSR) for the historical impact of socialism.
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