Venezuelan Security Head Defects, Blows Whistle On Regime

Featured image Leamsy Salazar was the head of security for Hugo Chavez and, after Chavez’s death, for Diosdado Cabello, the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly and second-in-command of the Socialist Party. Salazar has defected to the United States and unleashed some explosive allegations against his former bosses. Salazar says that Hugo Chavez died in December 2012, not March 2013 as was claimed by his successor, Nicolás Maduro. Salazar says that Maduro and »

Whatever Happened to Cynthia McKinney?

Featured image Cynthia McKinney was one of the looniest Democrats of her generation. A 9/11 Truther, she lost not one but two Democratic primaries because she was considered too far out. Her father’s explanation that she was in trouble because “the Jews have bought everybody. J-E-W-S” added to her legend. After her second primary rebuff, McKinney left the Democratic Party. She was the Green Party candidate for president in 2008–which tells you »

Reviving the Misery Index

Featured image Graybeards will remember Jimmy Carter’s embrace of the “Misery Index”—the combination of the inflation rate and the unemployment rate—that Peanut Brain used against Gerald Ford in 1976, but which he then doubled during his forlorn presidency as Ronald Reagan skillfully reminded everyone in 1980.  Well, it’s baaaack. Only this time in a much more refined and useable way, as economist Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University explains in a terrific »

Is There a Market For Stupidity?

Featured image The single worst thing any government can do is try to control prices. The result of price controls, always and everywhere, is disaster. At PJ Media, Richard Fernandez sets forth the sad history of price controls in Venezuela under Chavez and Maduro. There is lots more, but here are some excerpts: In September 2013 the Guardian wrestled with a mystery. “‘No one can explain why a rich country has no »

Standing Up to the Commie Thugs In Venezuela

Featured image In Venezuela, a popular uprising threatens to sweep Nicolas Maduro, the heir to Hugo Chavez, from power, along with his brutal, corrupt, viciously anti-American socialist regime. The magnitude of anti-Maduro demonstrations in Venezuela has not been adequately or consistently reported in the American press. Millions have taken part. To take just one example, this aerial photograph of an anti-government demonstration in Chacao last week, conveys some sense of the magnitude »

In Venezuela, Cuba Is Fighting To Hang On

Featured image In Venezuela, protests against the failed socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro are ongoing, but they have largely been crowded out of the news by events in Crimea and the drama of Flight 370. Still, from an American perspective, what is happening in Venezuela is of great importance. Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, and now Maduro, is a client of Cuba, and Cuba’s Communist government is a client of Russia, even though »

Meanwhile, In Venezuela…Jimmy Carter Offers to Lend a Hand

Featured image Ukraine has pushed Venezuela off the front pages, but all the while, the collapse of that country’s socialist regime continues. Demonstrations are ongoing in Caracas and throughout the country: As if Venezuela didn’t have troubles enough, Jimmy Carter has offered to get involved. Humberto Fontova reports at Frontpage: Last week Jimmy Carter fired off letters to Venezuela’s fraudulent President Nicolas Maduro and to Venezuela’s defrauded Presidential candidate Enrique Capriles expressing »

“To Save Venezuela, Sanction Iran and Starve the Castros”

Featured image That is Ted Cruz’s formula, as delivered on the Senate floor today. Cruz is, obviously, a controversial figure. He is unquestionably one of the most brilliant men in Washington, but at times his judgment has been subject to legitimate criticism. Still–speaking for myself–I like brilliance, especially in the Senate. In his speech today, Cruz pointed to the critical connections among Venezuela, Iran and Cuba. He acknowledged, and elaborated upon, Marco »

Marco Rubio Tees Off on Cuba, Venezuela and Tom Harkin

Featured image Marco Rubio has been in the doghouse with lots of conservatives because of his endorsement of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. But he is solid on virtually every other issue, and is one of the most talented politicians on either side of the aisle. Yesterday he reminded us how great he can be, when he rose to respond to Tom Harkin’s paean to the wonders of socialist Cuba. For »

Venezuela and Ukraine, what is to be done?

Featured image We frequently opine on the question of what the U.S. should do about Iran and Syria. These countries raise serious national security problems — Syria because, among other concerns, chunks of it seem to be falling into the hands of terrorists whose ambitions probably include attacking American interests; Iran because it is determined to develop nuclear weapons with which to threaten, at a minimum, our allies. Given these concerns, I »

What Is Going On In Venezuela?

Featured image We have chronicled the collapse of socialism in Venezuela (e.g., here, here, here and here) which, as Scott noted earlier today, may be entering its final stages. Violence has broken out across the country as student protesters against the Maduro regime are being brutally suppressed. When making toilet paper is too complex an enterprise for a country to carry out, the end is near. This video was made by a »

Maduro madness

Featured image Henry Hazlitt wrote the classic economics primer Economics in One Lesson, originally published in 1946. The short February 9 news story “Toyota to leave Venezuela” could form the basis of a chapter applying “the lesson” (as Hazlitt does in Part Two of the book): Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro says he wants to speak to Toyota’s top official for Latin America after the carmaker said it would stop production in the »

Venezuela Goes Into the Car Business

Featured image We have commented on the death spiral of Venezuela’s economy under the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro. With inflation running at 54%, his government keeps looking for more prices to control, and more “parasitic capitalists” to persecute, with predictable results. Even the Associated Press seems to be catching on: Venezuela’s government is setting limits on prices for cars as President Nicolas Maduro tries to close a popular loophole used by »

Ruining Venezuela his way

Featured image John’s post about Venezuela under Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro brought to mind this post by Ben Cohen at Commentary and, especially, this great line from an opposition leader: If Chavez was Frank Sinatra, then Maduro is the guy in the karaoke bar singing an out of tune version of My Way. As Cohen explains: The point here is not that Chavez was a preferable alternative to Maduro; as Roger »

Venezuela Doubles Down On Stupid

Featured image Venezuela is reaching the end point of socialism: economic collapse. Its government, headed by Hugo Chavez’s successor and acolyte Nicolas Maduro, has followed the classic left-wing playbook, with the result, inter alia, that you can no longer buy toilet paper in Venezuela. Producing such a complex product evidently is beyond the capacity of the state. Naturally, Venezuela suffers from rampant inflation, currently running at over 50% annually. So the government »

The Universal Destination of Socialism

Featured image Every socialist country comes to the same end: it can no longer produce its own toilet paper: A Venezuelan state agency on Friday ordered the temporary takeover of a factory that produces toilet paper in what it called an effort to ensure consistent supplies after embarrassing shortages earlier this year. Embarrassing–that’s putting it mildly! A national agency called Sundecop, which enforces price controls, said in a statement it would occupy »

(In lieu of the) Picture of the day

Featured image A reader writes that he sent a friend from Venezuela (who moved to Germany to get away) Steve’s post on socialism in Venezuela. He replied: “Here is proof!….Coffee sold in Venezuela now comes from Russia…Cue Yakov Smirnoff.” UPDATE: I’ve asked our reader to let us know where the photo was taken. I will update this post and restore the photograph when he responds if we are able to verify the »