Venezuela

Hungry Venezuelans Raid Zoo For Food

Featured image In socialist Venezuela, it has come to this: A gang in search of food broke into a zoo at night and butchered a horse for food, it has been reported. The shocking incident in Caracas has been held up as an example of the desperation of the Venezuelan people who are enduring a severe economic crisis. With looting and food shortages commonplace, it’s been reported that several people forced their »

How Did Resource-Rich Venezuela Become the World’s Most Godforsaken Place?

Featured image How bad have things gotten in socialist Venezuela? So bad that Venezuelans feel less secure than Syrians: Venezuelans feel less safe in their home country than civilians living in war-torn Syria, according to a new Gallup poll. Just 14 percent of Venezuelans said they feel safe in the country, compared with 32 percent of Syrian respondents who feel safe, according to the 2016 Global Law and Order Report. “Venezuela has »

Venezuela’s new decree

Featured image In his column “Socialism for the uninformed,” Thomas Sowell observed: “socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.” Sowell cited the slow-motion catastrophe in Venezuela as a case in point: “While throngs of young »

Mark Falcoff: From Cuba to Venezuela

Featured image Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute and author, among other books, of Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. He is also on occasional contributor to Power Line. He writes: Not long ago when the Obama administration decided to end our diplomatic and political embargo of Cuba many friends and associates asked me, as a long time Cuba-watcher, what I thought about it. At the »

The Venezuelan hunger

Featured image If you seek to understand the catastrophe that has hit Venezuela, you can compare and contrast the views of New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey with those of Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Winner: Scully. Even if he is clueless about causes, and he is, Casey can see what is in front of his nose. Give him that much. He is stationed in Caracas and he has the requisite »

NPR + NYT: A Recipe for Cluelessness

Featured image What happens when a National Public Radio host interviews a New York Times reporter on the subject of Venezuela’s economic collapse? You get a perfect storm of cluelessness. The host is Terry Gross, the guest is New York Times reporter Nicholas Casey, and the program is Fresh Air. Gross asks Casey about the utter disaster that Venezuela has become. Casey understands the depth to which Venezuela has fallen–he lives in »

Political Pilgrims, 21st Century Style

Featured image Back in the late 1970s the political scientist Paul Hollander performed a great public service with his book Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society (still in print), in which he catalogued and eviscerated the naïve and mendacious leftists who always tromped off to the latest “people’s utopia” (Soviet Union, Cuba, Mao’s China, Albania, North Vietnam, even North Korea for a time, etc.) and came back proclaiming »

The Tragedy of Democratic Socialism

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic decline of Venezuela’s economy under socialists Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. The situation has gotten so bad that even the New York Times has taken note: “Dying Infants and No Medicine: Inside Venezuela’s Failing Hospitals.” By morning, three newborns were already dead. The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, »

Venezuela Going the Way of All Socialism

Featured image Socialism depends on consolidating and centralizing all power, so when things start to go wrong (as they inevitably do), this also is as inevitable as food shortages, black markets, and hyperinflation: Leader opposition party in Venezuela assassinated Venezuelan politician German Mavare, leader of the opposition UNT party, died Friday after being shot in the head, an assassination that occurred in the western state of Lara, his organization said. “The board »

Venezuela Hits . . . er, Bottom?

Featured image As everyone over the age of six knows (that excludes Sanders voters obviously), one of the first things you run out of in a socialist economy that attempts price controls is toilet paper. But with Venezuela’s hyperinflation, you could always swap out the worthless paper currency for the Charmin. Except: Venezuela Doesn’t Have Enough Money to Pay for Its Money Venezuela’s epic shortages are nothing new at this point. No »

Venezuela’s Pathetic Decline Continues

Featured image Venezuela, one of the world’s most oil-rich countries, can’t keep the lights on. The country’s socialist government has announced that Venezuelans will now be entirely without power for four hours a day. But that’s not the worst of it: they will have to sit in the dark without beer: As Venezuelans digest news that they’ll have no power for hours a day, they also may have to do without beer »

Col. Sanders’ Cambridge Fried Economy

Featured image John has already alerted us to the example of Venezuela’s collapsing socialist economy as a model of what life under President Bernie Sanders could be like—a prospect I’m calling “Colonel Sanders Cambridge Fried Economy,” since it would be a Cambridge (MA) professor’s dream to be in charge of fixing all of the things wrong with America. But today’s news out of Venezuela is just too much fun. First, this from »

The Lights Go Out In Bernie Sanders’ Utopia, Venezuela

Featured image Venezuela’s slide into poverty and chaos continues. The country’s socialist government is now rationing electricity to shopping centers. They will have to close for portions of the day unless they can generate their own power. But they can’t generate their own power, due to the government’s strict currency controls that prevent them from obtaining foreign currency that would allow them to buy the necessary equipment. That’s life under socialism, every »

Maduro, Sanders and Clinton: Compare and Contrast

Featured image Socialism always fails, and it’s always someone else’s fault. In the last stages of socialist collapse, when there is not enough to eat and society teeters on the brink, “wreckers” and “saboteurs” are the traditional villains. That’s the point Venezuela has reached. President Nicolas Maduro is now blaming Lorenzo Mendoza, the head of Empresas Polar SA, Venezuela’s largest food company, for the country’s food shortage. (I’m not sure who is »

For Venezuela, the End Is Near. Someone Tell Bernie!

Featured image Venezuela’s disastrous experiment with socialism is nearing its inevitable end. The Financial Times has the numbers: The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press. In the free market, the »

Hasta La Vista, Socialism! (2)

Featured image Ted Bezat writes to comment on John’s post “Hasta La Vista, Socialism!” celebrating the election results in Venezuela earlier this week: I just finished reading your post and thought you might be interested in the documentation from 10 years ago when they really started to cripple their own oil industry. The primary reason that Venezuela’s “economy” has disintegrated is the drop-off in petroleum revenues. I’ve been tracking this ever since »

Hasta la Vista, Socialism!

Featured image We have chronicled the catastrophic collapse of socialism in Venezuela here and in many other posts. Government control over the economy, beginning with liberal hero Hugo Chavez and continuing under his successor, Nicolás Maduro, resulted in poverty for pretty much everyone outside the ruling elite. (Socialism produces the most rigid class distinctions of any economic system.) Venezuelans were engaging in knife fights in grocery stores, trying to grab the last »