Socialism: Dreams of “justice” & “shared wealth” end in starvation, extreme poverty, & tyranny
For years, American socialists pointed to Venezuela as an example of how well socialism could work. Celebrities flocked to the country for meetings and photo-ops with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. They commended his promises to end poverty and end the “injustice” of wealth and private property, and his increase in “social spending,” scolding American Presidents for not being as forward-thinking as Chavez.
In fact, if you took Chavez’ statements, proclamations, and promises, and put them side-by-side with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the multitude of other socialists in American politics, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Now that formerly middle-class Venezuelans are digging through stacks of garbage to find half-eaten food because they are starving, American socialists are trying to distance themselves from their well-documented love affair with Venezuelan socialism.
The destruction and pain that socialism rains down on a country and its people begins incrementally, but it soon snowballs into a pit of despair, starvation, and extreme poverty. The steps that the socialists took in Venezuela are well documented, and serve as a warning to all other free nations.
The Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), founded in 1931, is the alma mater of Venezuela’s politicians. Over the years, as the leaders abandoned communism and embraced democratic socialism, they create a large number of parties that conform today’s Venezuelan political system. The political discourse of these emerging leaders always reflected the conviction that a capitalist market economy is only a transitory stage towards some form of socialism.
Venezuela is a case study that went from being an economic success to a humanitarian disaster. Since the emergence of the oil industry, around the 1920s, until the late 1950s, Venezuela’s economy was able to combine economic growth with declining poverty rates, making the country a regional center for immigration settlements. In 1975, the socialist democratic government of Carlos Andrés Pérez nationalized the iron and oil industries.
Then, geopolitical events caused the price of oil to increase dramatically, producing excessive revenues that tipped the balance of power in society in favor of the Government. Until 1998, despite the existence of a market economy, government actions aim to reduce economic freedom were widely implemented, including exchange controls, currency devaluation, monetary inflation, price and wage controls, barriers to trade, forced redistribution of wealth, and highly progressive taxes — all these policies accompanied by the typical Third World’s anti-imperialist rhetoric.
The arrival of Hugo Chávez to power, in 1998, exacerbated socialist policies, as the government was devoted to political control.
Starting in 2003, a set of confiscatory laws created political unrest, which resulted in increasing government interventions. Again, with the increase of international oil prices, the government raised public spending, specifically the so-called “social” spending through monetary transfers that appeared to reduce poverty.
Within this strategy, the regime increased its power by giving Russia and China blocks of oil reserves in exchange for loans for present consumption, leaving the country as a simple pawn within the global geopolitics. The recent chaos is the result of increasing socialist policies, especially hyperinflation, combined with declining oil revenues.
Ironically, socialists all over the world somehow end up as millionaires while the people over whom they rule (usually with an iron fist), end up living in desperate, horrific conditions. Strange! The socialists’ promises are all the same, and the fact that American socialists claim that “democratic socialism” is different because it is implemented via a democratic vote rather than a bloody revolution is a dangerous lie.
“Real socialism” and “democratic socialism” and “socialism” are the same – coercive, tyrannical systems of governance that have no place in a free nation like the United States.