Sunday, February 23, 2014

Venezuela goes the way of Ukraine, and Detroit

By Douglas V. Gibbs

In breaking news that the American mainstream media is barely touching upon, Ukraine and Venezuela are both in the midst of violence, mass protests, and economic upheaval.  As Kiev burns, the Venezuelans have taken to the streets to either support, or oppose, Hugo Chavez's replacement, President Nicolas Maduro.  The government has asked women to rally around the presidential palace (dressed in socialist red) - - - Why? So that the cowardly socialist can use the women as a shield like the diffident Muslim jihadists do?

As street crime rises, Venezuela boasts one of the highest murder rates in the world, unemployment is reaching incredible heights, inflation rages at a rate of 60% a year, limits have been imposed on travel and expression, and pro-government groups march through the streets armed like soldiers ready to engage an enemy, it is only recent memory that the marchers began their protests only two weeks ago.  The whole dang thing began as a student-led street movement demanding that the government address safety concerns on a university campus following the assault of a student.  The marches spread to other cities, and in the capital, Caracas, the street marches were spearheaded by opposition leader Leopoldo López, who called for protests to continue until the president, Nicolás Maduro stepped down from power.

Maduro claims the protests are only occurring in a minority of cities, that those cities are controlled by opposition forces, and he believes this could be the early stages of a U.S. backed coup (so all American officials have been expelled from the country).  In other words, "Most people love me, it is just a few, extreme, radical right-wingers doing this, and it is all America's fault."

Hmmmm, for some reason that sounds familiar.

Since the protests began, 10 people have died, 137 have been injured and 104 arrested, according to government figures.

The reality is, Venezuela, which was once a prosperous nation, is a failed state under the oppression of leftist socialism.  The government is rampant with corruption, the oil revenue has been mismanaged, and the policies of nationalism have destroyed the nation's economic system.  Basic grocery items are not available.  The currency has been devalued, and the inflation numbers are as high as the number of jobs available is low, and as low as the low wages being offered.  A drive for making Venezuela the standard for socialism has ended the same way all leftist experiments end - with failure, misery, and a leadership that lusts for more power.

One Venezuelan says he saw where they were headed from the beginning.  "After Hugo Chavez was elected president, we started a journey of lies, manipulations and abuse of power. . . The reaction of the government has been always to pretend that nothing is going on or to blame opposition of everything, but we just got fed up with being abused and threatened."

Again, all of this sounds eerily familiar.

The government of President Nicolas Maduro is only 10 months old.  How quickly the less charismatic dictator failed to cover-up the problems of the socialist utopia, and how quickly the citizens, who were already suspecting there were problems, rose up.  As with the American Colonists, as verbalized by John Adams, "The Revolution was effected before the war commenced.  The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people."

First Lady Cilia Flores called on supporters to be alert for opposition attempts to incite more violence in the days ahead to create conditions for a Ukraine-like power grab.

"Venezuela isn't Ukraine," Flores, who rarely speaks in public but is a close adviser to her husband, told the crowd. "The right-wing fascists aren't going to impose themselves here."

"This is a rich country and we can't even buy a kilo of flour, a rich country but we live in misery," Marta Rivas, a 39-year-old mother of two, said as she joined the San Cristobal march.

This is what has happened to the nation that American leftists like Sean Penn calls paradise.  The shining example of what liberal left progressive political philosophies can be, turned out to be what liberal left led nations always tend to wind up being - a failure.

Liberalism fails wherever, and whenever, it is tried.

Leftists around the world held Chavez's Venezuela up as the apple in the eye of Marx, the last hope for humanity in a world of fat cat bankers and austerity Scrooges.

In the end it turned out to be the same failed socialist experiment, with dictatorial leaders, a collapsing economy, and misery spread evenly throughout the entire nation.  Two classes have emerged.  The have-nots, and the ruling elite.

Protests have risen up, an armed military has been ordered to patrol the streets so as to crush any semblance of opposition to the government's wishes and desires, the press is being forced to give the government's side of the story, members of the opposition is being arrested for daring to rise up against the mighty government, and the contradictions of socialist nationalism has become nothing more than the corrupt, evil, uncaring government the socialists claimed to replace.

The working poor were convinced that there was a conspiracy, that they were victims of the rich and powerful, but that the socialists would save them, create an economic boom, and provide the path to progress and good times for all. But it turned out those that claimed there was a conspiracy were not lying, for they were the conspiracy, they were the ones that were making civil society stagnate, they were the ones mismanaging the economy, and it was their policies that were making victims of the working poor as the socialist leaders became fat and powerful.

Economies cannot be engineered.  You can't buy prosperity.  Paradise cannot be forced, bought, or enabled through government.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said that, "The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

When the money runs out, only totalitarianism holds what is left of the country together.

Liberalism fails whenever, and wherever it is tried, and Venezuela, like the Ukraine, and Detroit, is showing us how every experiment in Marxism ends.

With pain, suffering, and bloodshed.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Opposition, pro-govt rallies grip Venezuela - Yahoo News/Associated Press

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