Tensions flared on Wednesday as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Caracas – Venezuela’s capital – to demonstrate against their despotic government. So-called president Nicolas Maduro has lost control of the country. Maduro’s regime is acting increasingly authoritarian in a desperate attempt to maintain control of the starving nation.
Venezuela’s future is uncertain; they enjoy Russia and Iran’s support, but US President Donald Trump made a bold announcement Wednesday declaring Maduro is no longer president. Nicolas Maduro has lost the faith of the Venezuelan people and his crimes against humanity cannot stand.
Trump put his support behind Nicolas Maduro’s main opponent, opposition leader Juan Guaido and recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president. Canada, Brazil, and Colombia shortly followed suit and also recognized Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela. US Vice President Mike Pence did not mince words – calling Maduro a dictator that needs to go. In retaliation, Maduro immediately cut ties with the United States and expelled all US diplomats. The support for regime change in Venezuela comes at the detest of the Kremlin and Beijing – both of whom exploit Venezuela for strategic and resource purposes.
Venezuela is, in many ways, the modern Cuba. Used as a vessel for China and similar antagonists of America, the state was once hailed by socialist and US Senator Bernie Sanders as a model country to be imitated. Not anymore. These days, Bernie and his bros would prefer to pretend Venezula doesn’t exist, as it is a poignant picture of what happens when democracy and capitalism are abandoned. Clearly, the doomed model of socialism has failed again. “But it wasn’t real socialism!” The fact is, capitalism has raised more people out of poverty and created more progress than any system in human history. It’s flawed, but it’s the best option by far.
The situation started to get dire around 2015 when global oil prices crashed. They’ve stayed low since – and that’s a problem for Venezuela. They’ve built their economy almost entirely around oil. The low price of a barrel of oil means there’s no money for the Venezuelan government. As the economic health of the nation collapsed, the government made ignorant decisions that expedited the disaster. After the initial oil price decline, the Venezuelan government put the military in charge of the nation’s oil industry, and that went as well as you’d expect.
Let’s be clear – the economic situation in Venezuela has been declining for some time because of things other than oil prices, notably government mismanagement and corruption. Corruption happens in every economic system, but socialism is exceptionally corrupt. The elite build a protected class with cults of personality to guard them and enjoy immunity from valid criticism; criticism and the press is often controlled and illegalized. What starts out as an “one for all” revolutionary battle cry turns into a “all for one” reality. The elites in such a system cannot and have not ever resisted such human temptations as to exploit the riches of their nation’s labor and spoils at the detriment of those effectively working for free.
Socialists are always authoritarian; it is a prerequisite of the ideology.
Venezuela has been declining since 1999 when infamous scumbag Hugo Chavez won the presidency. He slowly transitioned the country to a state controlled economy where private enterprise was banned or accosted so much, they had no choice but to leave. Chavez served as president until he died in 2013. The government continued to take as much as they could from whoever had anything until there was nothing left to tax or confiscate. “The problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
Basic necessities like toilet paper and canned food are rare, valuable commodities in today’s Venezuela. Water doesn’t flow out of the taps and the lights don’t turn on. It’s been quite a terrible fall from grace since Hugo Chavez took over, but socialism will do that. It’ll ruin anything it touches. Venezuela went from one of the world’s most promising developing nations, with the largest oil reserve ever discovered, to a cesspit of crime, cretins, and suffering. Let Venezuela serve as a stark reminder to the world of the dangers that lie in wait behind socialism’s frontward facade.