More Venezuela Follies

I didn’t think the collapse of Venezuela’s socialism could be any more stark than the notice here a couple days ago of the closure of major league baseball operations, but sure enough, things are getting worse:

Venezuela to Nationalize Food Distribution

Caracas (AFP) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and an escalating economic crisis.

During a rally Friday, on International Workers’ Day, the socialist leader allowed a union activist to ask for the nationalization of food and essential-item distribution.

Citing new decree-making powers recently granted by the National Assembly, Maduro said he would carry out such a measure “in the coming days and weeks.”

Maduro had pledged earlier in the week to announce economic reforms.

Various estimates suggest the government already controls about half of the country’s food distribution, but that hasn’t stopped record shortages in shops and markets.

I’m sure controlling all of Venezuela’s food instead of just half will do the trick.

But the socialist overlords are not stopping with food.  Having already shut down opposition media, the tyrants are now going after the most potent political threat to their power—comedians:

It’s No Joke: Venezuela Cracks Down on Comedians

Laureano Marquez was performing a benefit at his old high school in the Venezuelan city of Maracay. The comedian dwelled on the absurdities of life in this oil-rich nation, where gas is cheaper than water but it’s hard to find milk, toilet paper and many other everyday goods.

In the supermarket, Marquez said, desperate customers will steal scarce items right out of your shopping cart.

“In Venezuela, you get robbed of stuff that isn’t even yours yet,” he said to a round of laughs.

Turning serious, Marquez tells the crowd that the socialist revolution, launched 16 years ago by the late Hugo Chavez, is collapsing under the weight of bad policies and corrupt public officials.

That message doesn’t sit well with Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro. Besides jailing opposition leaders and cracking down on protesters, the Maduro government is now going after comics.

Marquez says that three of his recent shows were canceled after all three clubs that booked him were suddenly closed down for alleged tax evasion. He’s also been shut out of government-run theaters and hotels.

Over to you Daily Show.  This ought to hit close to home, as the story explains:

Political satire in all forms is getting harder to find in Venezuela. Last year, the editorial cartoonist for the country’s largest newspaper was fired for depicting the national health care system in ruins.

Also gone is Chataing TV, a popular fake news show.

Last year the show’s host, Luis Chataing, made fun of the government’s frequent claims of coup plotting by the opposition. In a skit, Chataing portrayed a government bureaucrat fabricating evidence of a conspiracy with paper, scissors and glue as if part of a kindergarten art class.

The crowd loved it. The show was canceled the next day. Chataing said the government pressured the station’s owner to take him off the air, a claim President Maduro brushed aside.

Remember, this is the regime people like Michael Moore, Sean Penn, and various Kennedys hold up for emulation.  You can see why.