The "revolutionary" spirit seems alive and well among young activists and students as they demand "safe spaces" to protect them from ideas and words that call their leftist ideology into question. At the same time, they congratulate themselves for their bravery as they demonstrate in places like Berkeley, CA or New York City. They regularly scream epithets at police who generally threaten them with nothing more than contempt. When they do become violent and break things (and they sometimes do), the biggest danger they face is tear gas and a ride in the paddy wagon with subsequent release on their own recognizance. Wow ... truth to power and all that.
Yesterday, I noted that the democratic party has lurched hard left, now led by the likes of Bernie Sanders, an 75 year old avowed socialist. Bernie tells cheering crowds that the United States needs a "revolution."
It's worth noting that our South American neighbor, Venezuela, experienced Bernie's socialist revolution less than 20 years ago and is rapidly descending into chaos. Demonstrations by Venezuelan students and activists are escalating throughout the country. But unlike their counterparts in the USA, these students and activists are fighting the very leftist revolution that Sanders espouses. In the process, they have no safe place.
The Venezuelan poor are are literally starving in the slums of Caracas and other cities and tell reporters they don't have enough energy to protest. The slum dwellers were Chavez' and Moduro's base of support at the turn of the century as these corrupt socialist leaders promised a "revolution" leading to a socialist utopia. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Venezuelans living through their own socialist political revolution appear to have decided they’ve had quite enough of it. Reuters reports today that “Venezuelan security forces fired tear gas as demonstrators staged what they billed as the ‘mother of all marches’ against President Nicolas Maduro.” Reuters adds, “Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities, denouncing Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the economy into chaos.”The Dems might be advised to give all of this just a little thought as they flock to listen to Bernie et al push them increasingly leftward.
On Tuesday night in Kentucky, the Socialist Mr. Sanders said Democrats need to go beyond their “zone of comfort” to promote their agenda.
Venezuelans have by now learned all about leaving their zone of comfort. On Monday the Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady noted that the Maduro government “is running out of money to buy imports, and since it has crippled domestic production, privation is growing more profound.”
Reuters reports today that “Carlos Moreno, 18, a student, was on his way to play soccer in Caracas and did not plan to take part in the demonstration when government supporters approached an opposition gathering and fired shots, according to witnesses and a family member. Moreno was shot in the head, they said.”
... So far this month pro-government militias or the police have allegedly killed three protesters in and around Barquisimeto, the capital city of Lara state. A demonstrator was fatally shot in Valencia—the third largest city in the country—and the governor of Carabobo state has admitted that the police were responsible. Another young protester was killed in a satellite city of Caracas, and an 87-year-old Caracas woman died when tear gas inundated her home.
Ms. O’Grady added that roving “bands of government-sponsored militias terrorize civil society.”
But protesters seem increasingly unwilling to be intimidated. “It’s time to stop being poor and hungry. I’m going to stay in the streets until we get rid of this government,” 21-year-old graphic designer Rolisber Aguirre told the Associated Press last week.
The news from down south gives American voters an opportunity to consider just how revolutionary they want their leaders to be.
Bernie Sanders' calls for "revolution" and his suggestions that the Dems move beyond their “zone of comfort” is by veiled reference, a call for more government control, more income redistribution, and a more anti-business regulatory environment—sort of the Obama era (and an Obama economy) on steroids.
As if Venezuela's socialist government decided to demonstrate the end game for Sander's philosophy, today it announced the takeover of a GM plant in Valencia. At the beginning of their reign, socialists tout free enterprise, but before long, they must feed their ravenous hunger to control every aspect of society, including free enterprise. After all, capitalistas don't deserve to keep what they built, right? NBC News reports:
General Motors said Wednesday it has been forced to stop operating in Venezuela after one of its plants was illegally seized by local authorities."Unexpectedly?" Not really.
The seizure, in the country's industrial hub of Valencia, comes amid a deepening economic and political crisis that has sparked weeks of deadly street protests.
General Motors Venezolana, GM's local subsidiary, did not provide any details about the seizure, other than to say the facility "was unexpectedly taken by authorities, preventing normal operations." It said other assets, "such as vehicles," had also been stripped from the site.