mead berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn bayles
Venezuela Burning
The Wages of Socialism

One of the most cruelly ironic aspects of applied socialism is that it ends up inflicting the worst pain on those it most vocally purports to try to help. Witness, the scenes of chaos in Caracas:

On a recent morning in the rundown, garbage-strewn Caracas district of El Valle, some 200 people pushed up against police guarding a supermarket as they chanted, “We want food!” and “Loot it!” A few at the front were allowed in for two bags of pasta each.

“We’re not eating. People are desperate for a looting,” said mother-of-three Miza Colmenares, 55, who had spent the night in line and not eaten since the previous day when she had eggs for breakfast.

One young woman fainted in the heat, an elderly lady cried uncontrollably on the sidewalk and the seething crowd chased away a government supporter.

10 lootings per day are now reported across the country, with supermarkets a frequent target of enraged, hungry citizens. At night, armed gangs hijack delivery trucks and sell the goods on the black market.

Venezuela’s opposition is still trying to unseat President Nicolas Maduro by means of a recall referendum, but the situation on the ground may soon overtake any such political niceties. So far Maduro has been attempting to blame the shortages on food hoarding by the opposition, but that line is increasingly not gaining purchase among the increasingly desperate population. Should truly massive public unrest break out, all eyes will turn on the Venezuelan army—an institution with its share of Maduro-sympathisizing Chavistas who nevertheless may find it convenient to cut the boss loose in order to secure a decent future for themselves in whatever arrangement comes next.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Fat_Man

    Maduro has nothing to worry about. Obama is on his side.

    • Jim__L

      Obama has his back, eh?

      • Jacksonian_Libertarian


  • Blackbeard

    The possibilities here are military dictatorship, even more repressive communist dictatorship or failed state. Countries don’t come back quickly from what Chavez did to them.

  • christophergreen

    The Hollywood elite are among the Venezuelan government’s strongest supporters. They can hold a fundraiser for them.

  • delta 5297

    Yeah, sure. Socialism doesn’t work. Everybody and their grandmother knows this. But the only people who feel compelled to write essays about this topic are usually conservatives who use “socialism” as a straw-man argument to attack their opponents.

    • Dale Fayda

      “Everybody and their grandmother knows this”.

      You deliberately forgot to mention millions of micro-brained Bernie Sanders supporters and other assorted leftist mental midgets. They sure seem to think Socialism is the “cat’s meow”, despite this and decades of evidence from the 20th century socialist debacles kicking them in the face.

      • f1b0nacc1

        You don’t even have to go that far afield…we have a few commenters here who still seem to think that socialism is the way to go…

  • seattleoutcast

    But Venezuela is a democratic socialist country! Like Sweden!

    Oh wait….

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service