We have chronicled Venezuela’s descent into medieval levels of poverty and tyranny for several years now. But President Maduro enjoys, for the moment, the support of Venezuela’s military, so opponents are jailed, tortured and murdered, and the disastrous Chavez/Maduro regime hangs on by its fingernails, while millions of Venezuelans flee to non-socialist countries.
What happens in the last stages of democratic socialism? For one thing, diseases that have long been banished from the civilized (non-socialist) world make a comeback. The London Times reports:
Two-year-old José Medina has begun his recovery in the family home in Petare, a sprawling Caracas slum, after a severe case of haemorrhagic dengue.
“There was blood coming from his nose and his ears,” his mother, Nicole Medina, 20, said. She had taken him to a local clinic, where he was misdiagnosed with worms, and then on to another two hospitals before he was treated, by which time his weight had slumped to barely 6kg — less than a stone — and he needed a blood transfusion. He was lucky to survive.
“The last time the government fumigated here was 13 years ago,” said Ms Medina. The anti-mosquito teams visited only if residents paid an “exorbitant” fee, in US dollars, she added.
Along with endemic corruption, hemorrhagic dengue is one of many diseases that have reappeared in the land of Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren/AOC style democratic socialism:
Life-threatening illnesses that were eradicated decades ago, including measles and diphtheria, alongside an unprecedented increase in mosquito-borne diseases, have re-emerged in Venezuela, although the scale is hard to assess.
It is hard to assess because the socialist government has stopped producing data on public health. On the economy, too, but that is another story.
He said information he received from doctors at dozens of hospitals showed that the country was facing a crisis. “Last year we had close to 1.5 million cases of malaria, nearly ten thousand cases of diphtheria, nine thousand cases of measles” said Dr Castro. “These are preventable diseases.”
He blamed the beleaguered left-wing government of President Maduro, which is overseeing the steepest recession in the world, for failing in its responsibility to organise vaccination programs, and abandoning its attempts to control mosquitoes.
There is much more at the link. Part of the problem is that many doctors and other health professionals are among the three million who have fled Venezuela’s democratic socialism. It’s understandable; Venezuela’s nearly incalculable inflation rate means that doctors earn around $10 a month. (Democrats, take note: that is one way Medicare and Medicaid could become sustainable.)
Since democratic socialism doesn’t work, and running the printing presses has mysteriously failed to create wealth, the Chavez/Maduro government is out of ammo. The last refuge of a scoundrel is to blame the United States:
In February Mr Maduro blocked the delivery of international humanitarian aid, including medical kits, from across the border with Colombia, saying the plan was a “cheap stunt” concocted by his political rival Juan Guaidó.
Mr Maduro blames US sanctions, which were expanded last month, for the lack of medicines in Venezuela, even though imports of medical supplies are explicitly permitted.
Democratic socialism has never led to anything but misery and totalitarian tyranny, yet it appears likely that Democratic primary voters are ready to endorse it. If they get their way, poverty will be accompanied by a resurgence of diseases that had been more or less extinct under a free enterprise regime.
Given the universal lessons of history, one is tempted to say that when that happens, liberal voters will be getting what they deserve. And, of course, they won’t be able to blame the United States for the disasters their policies inevitably will create.