“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Once there was a country with a promising future. It had a functioning democracy, a rapidly growing economy, and a growing middle class. All the important indicators, including education, health care, and foreign investment, all was working together to create a great country that the sky was the limits.
It was not perfect far from it but the mood of the people looking forward for good reason. However, everything changed his country is a failed state now, empty shell of its former self.
Services like power and water are sporadic. The most basic consumer goods, from bread to toilet paper, are in chronically short supply. Crime has became an epidemic. Freedom of the press is gone. Democracy has been replaced by a strong man strong party dictatorship.
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The country is, Venezuela. What happened to a country that had so much potential. It can be described in one word: socialism.
In 1999, then-candidate for president with so much charisma well-spoken Chavez promised to lead the people of Venezuela to a socialist promise land. His theme was “Hope and Change.” “Venezuela is Rich country,” Chavez said, “but it’s being stolen from its citizens by the evil capitalists and the evil corporations.”
Elites must pay the international corporations must pay what’s wrong should be righted, he assured the voters, if they elected him. Chavez won the election became the president until his death to the everlasting regret of the majority of the Venezuelans.
Chavez mentor was the Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro. Chavez had a lot in common with Castro He enjoyed giving nationalistic speeches he loved to be the center of attention he had his own TV show.
Venezuela is a cautionary tale. Once a country goes down a socialist path, there’s no easy way back. And the longer a country stays socialist, the harder it is to reform itFaisal Al-Shammeri
Under Chavez rule he starts implementing his socialist agenda trying to reach what he promised to people socialist utopia the government start taking over in district private businesses, corporations the private sector cease to exist.
The Venezuelan government assured the people that it would run this industry better than the private sector the profit would be shared by the people with great support, Chavez took on Multi national and international corporations, oil and gas companies and demanded that they pay much higher royalties. When they refused, he told them to leave. They did and the people took the bait.
Chavez Internationally benefited from the image projected by left leaning celebrities from the west whom travel to Venezuela to see his great work the great Socialist utopia Taking from the rich and giving it to the poor.
Progressive politicians from the West also praised him as a great leader. Socialism always works in the beginning, it’s easy for governments to confiscate money, but eventually there’s no more money to confiscate or Rich people to take it from.
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money” Margaret Thatcher. In the case of Venezuela, I mean that literally: People who could get money out of the country, did. Many left the according to Venezuelan sociologist Tomás Páez.
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Nearly two million, the wealth creators continued to create wealth, but they created it somewhere else – Miami or Madrid and New York all over the world entrepreneurs small business as well as big businesses owners left. Ironically when you Hugo Chavez said in 1999, he would leave in two years if people weren’t happy with him.
But, like every socialist leaders throughout history, Chavez never had any intention of giving up power. He died in office in 2013, replaced by his vice president, Maduro is Chavez without the charisma or the voice.
“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy,” Winston Churchill once said. Venezuela is now a disaster, shunned by the world and isolated. It’s so bad that many international airlines refuse to fly there.
People stand in lines for hours just to get food. Sometimes they walk away empty-handed people eats cats and dog Caracas is running out of dogs 6 percent of the population are homeless.
A recent survey found that 75 percent of Venezuelan adults lost weight in 2016 – an average of 19 pounds. This national weight-loss program is known cynically as “the Maduro diet.” Still, Maduro holds onto power. Opposition leaders and journalists who report the truth are jailed.
Venezuela is a cautionary tale. Once a country goes down a socialist path, there’s no easy way back. And the longer a country stays socialist, the harder it is to reform it.Venezuela has been socialist for two decades. That’s why you should never buy the socialist lie. Socialism is a drug and like a drug, it feels great – at first. But eventually it will ruin your country Just like it ruined Venezuela.
Charles E. Wilson once said: “No one should suffer from the great delusion that any form of communism or socialism which promotes the dictatorship of the few instead of the initiative of the millions can produce a happier or more prosperous society”.
Faisal Al-Shammeri is a political analyst based in Washington DC. He tweets @mr_alshammeri.