The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Venezuela—A Quick Check

It's time for another quick check on a story that American media tries hard to bury on the back pages or ignore altogether—Venezuela. Venezuela is a classic example of how socialism fails a country, its people, and their future. When Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez took power he was praised as a visionary who would lead his oil-rich and generally prosperous country to a new utopian future. Left-wing editorialists predicted that Venezuela would become a South American powerhouse, yet one that was socially conscious and cared about its people. Progressives loved Chavez' attacks on then-president George W. Bush, they loved his power-to-the-people rhetoric, they loved the idea of socialism writ large. They were either too ideologically driven or too historically ignorant (or both) to recognize that doctrinaire socialism doesn't work—never did, never will.

Venezuela began to crumble and today, Juan Forero reports:
CÚCUTA, Colombia—Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their country’s misery and pouring across borders into nearby countries, particularly Colombia, creating a sharpening challenge for the region.

As the collapse of Venezuela’s economy deepens, the number of those fleeing is accelerating. Nearly 3 million Venezuelans—a 10th of the population—have left the oil-rich country over the past two decades of leftist rule. Almost half that number—some 1.2 million people—have gone in the past two years, according to Tomás Páez, a Venezuelan immigration expert at Venezuela’s Central University.

Some 550,000 Venezuelans were in Colombia at the end of 2017, a 62% increase from a year before, according to the Colombian government, with another 50,000 entering so far this year.
There is no better indicator of the health of a country and its political philosophy than the number of citizens who are leaving. That's really all you need to know. When things get so bad that the economy collapses, medical care is close to non-existent, food is scarce, dissent is crushed, and the government is brutish and unresponsive, people vote with their feet.

That's what's happening in Venezuela. Progressives who lionize Bernie and Liz and their visions of a socialist utopia in the USA should take note.