My Word: Socialism and Venezuela

Incisive information extending from the dismal situation in Venezuela is hard to come by, so when I came across a wee article in a Jan. 11 publication, I trimmed it. It’s important to be aware of Venezuela’s misery because some politicians here long for a similar path. 

Here are the key points from the article: “Once among Latin America’s wealthiest countries, Venezuela is enduring a historic crisis following two decades of socialist rule, with residents struggling to afford basic goods as inflation soars, driving mass migration.

“Maduro’s (Venezuela’s president, declared illegitimate by at least 17 countries including the U.S.) second six-year term extends the country’s socialist revolution amid widespread complaints that he has stripped the country of its last vestiges of democracy.”

There you are, the utter failure of a socialist system to live up to the lies it promulgates. Keep in mind leftists never take responsibility for what they do because they dwell in an idealized world where personal blame can not coexist with accountability. 

Maduro was elected after Hugo Chavez, instigator of socialist “reforms,” died in 2013. Maduro denies responsibility for everything, of course, and blames the U.S. for the economic/political horrors his country is now experiencing. Remember, a leftist theme, here and elsewhere, is everything is America’s fault.

Though elected, Maduro is nothing more than a leftist dictator determined to stay in power even as unrest grows. Party, dogma and the leftist agenda have replaced the needs of the people. Venezuela’s currency is worthless; there is widespread unemployment, shortages, rising crime, and a large number of people fleeing the country which has led neighbors to reconsider their position on immigration. 

I submit that is why one finds very little information about Venezuela’s expanding crisis within our own liberal media. Utter failure of a touted belief system lends little to a forthcoming presidential election for those who, incredibly, still insist socialism works. Channel Bernie Sanders and the like.

Understand, all socialism really does is spread poverty in the name of justice. This, I think, is a poor trade for the freedom and economic mobility offered by an open economic/political system guided by a constitution that guarantees individual rights. America isn’t perfect, but one only has to compare this country’s condition to that of Venezuela to see the truth.

Now, it’s easy to dismiss Venezuela’s woes if one believes what happens elsewhere could never happen here. People have been comfortable in our democracy for so long they may not recognize encroaching socialism though evident. For instance, the Democratic party is now wholly controlled by the far left; democratic principles are under constant attack; socialism dominates in California, our most populous state; most big media is the unapologetic propaganda arm of the left. These are indicators of intent and direction. 

I doubt many people in Venezuela anticipated disaster 20 years ago when they put their trust in Chavez, a leftist fanatic and Castro worshipper. That’s why it is essential to be aware of those who promise too much in the name of social justice or set themselves on a moral pedestal while attacking nonstop any who question them. 

In America this behavior now includes attacks on teenage Catholic boys wearing MAGA hats of which liberals disapprove despite their claims of tolerance. This is part of the left’s effort to control the political narrative while suffocating President Trump’s message. Such incidents are ugly, unprincipled and contrary to the American ideal of free speech, but they also reveal the true nature of a party moving steadily toward radicalism.

What I am observing is many people, especially those who are young, don’t understand what socialism is. This may be the failure of subjective education but that‘s no excuse. It is in everyone’s interest to seek an awareness outside the false promises of ethically flexible politicians. There is no substitute for knowledge and attentiveness when it comes to the future of one‘s country. With equality comes equal responsibility.

In socialist countries, democracy dies quickly, taking freedom with it. It is what many immigrants who come here are trying to escape.

Those whose awakening comes late may very well be too late. No country knows this better than Venezuela now in agony, flux and breakdown. 

 Larry Anderson is a retired educator