The story of Venezuela, brought from affluence to misery by its own madman in authority, makes this point with singular clarity. In 1914, the discovery of oil on Venezuelan land brought the country vast revenues and produced a relatively free economy. By 1950, Venezuela enjoyed the fourth-highest per capita income in the world, behind only the U.S., Switzerland, and New Zealand. As late as 1980, it boasted the world’s fastest growing economy in the 20thcentury. In 2001, Venezuela still ranked as Latin America’s wealthiest country.
Today, Venezuela has become the most hellish place on Earth, with its population fleeing to neighboring countries, crime skyrocketing, its kleptocrat rulers kept in power through military force, and its remaining population, having eaten the family pets, hunting rats for dinner.
Meanwhile, the American press is touting the rise of socialists as the next big thing in the Democratic Party. Learning from experience has never been a liberal strong point, but this is ridiculous. In the U.K., Jeremy Corbyn has at least taken some well-deserved abuse for his history as a Chavezista. The Sun, Britain’s most popular newspaper, headlines: “WELCOME TO CORBYN HELL–The terrible reality of life inside the Labour leader’s socialist utopia of Venezuela with hyper inflation and millions starving.”
Along with photographs of empty grocery store shelves and accounts of misery and starvation, the Sun quotes a Venezuelan:
Starving Estella Martinez looks close to breaking point as she stands on a pollution-choked street wearing a headband made of worthless bills.
Bent and gaunt, the grandmother has not had a proper meal in days….
Speaking out to The Sun on Sunday, the 68-year-old tore into the failing socialist policies Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wants to imitate.
She said: “I have lived here all of my life and we have never had it so bad. This is a disaster.
“I just want to get a coffee or something to take away the hunger. I can’t remember when the last time was I had a proper meal.”
Asked why she does not spend the folded 100 bolivar banknotes that form a sad tiara around her forehead, the former maid replies: “This money is worthless now because of inflation.
“Five years ago 100 bolivars would have been enough to fill my fridge. Today the shops won’t take them as they are worth so little.
“If Jeremy Corbyn thinks this is how to run a country he should come to see this place for himself.”
To my knowledge, no American newspaper has similarly held Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other socialists within the Democratic Party to account.
Michael Ramirez has done so, however. This cartoon is especially entertaining; check out the Karl Marx calendar, the slightly altered Hillary arrow, Elizabeth Warren in full regalia, and more. Click to enlarge: