According to reports, socialist Bernie Sanders is just about ready to formally announce his entry into the 2020 run for the White House but the timing could be problematic considering the imminent collapse of Venezuela.
The Latin American nation that only a few short years ago was being hailed by many on the political left as a utopia has descended into the type of chaos that is historically consistent with that of countries that have taken the great socialist leap of faith.
Socialism and centralized control under the late strongman Hugo Chavez led to even more corruption and authoritarianism from current President Nicolas Maduro who has presided over an ugly period of economic freefall that has led to hunger, disease, and desperation so extreme that Venezuelans were forced to killing and eating pets and zoo animals in order to survive.
There was also the matter of repression, death squads and the arrest of opposition leader Juan Guaidó which was the final straw for the Trump administration and much of the civilized world who finally are calling for an end to the Maduro regime.
Even the New York Times is blasting the failure of socialism in what could be a stinging blow to Comrade Bernie and
communist socialist wing of the Democratic party that is led by 29-year-old former bartender and political bomb thrower Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
"In the age of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez it has to be explained all over again. Why does socialism never work? Because, as Margaret Thatcher explained, “eventually you run out of other people’s money.” My column in @nytopinion: https://t.co/9dWHOUZlwu
— Bret Stephens (@BretStephensNYT) January 26, 2019
In his piece for the NYT entitled “Yes, Venezuela Is a Socialist Catastrophe,” Bret Stephens writes:
In the age of A.O.C., the lesson must be learned again.
Conspicuous by its absence in much of the mainstream news coverage of Venezuela’s political crisis is the word “socialism.” Yes, every sensible observer agrees that Latin America’s once-richest country, sitting atop the world’s largest proven oil reserves, is an economic basket case, a humanitarian disaster, and a dictatorship whose demise cannot come soon enough.
But … socialist? Perish the thought.
Or so goes a line of argument that insists socialism’s good name shouldn’t be tarred by the results of experience. On Venezuela, what you’re likelier to read is that the crisis is the product of corruption, cronyism, populism, authoritarianism, resource-dependency, U.S. sanctions and trickery, even the residues of capitalism itself. Just don’t mention the S-word because, you know, it’s working really well in Denmark.
Government overspending created catastrophic deficits when oil prices plummeted. Worker co-ops wound up in the hands of incompetent and corrupt political cronies. The government responded to its budgetary problems by printing money, leading to inflation. Inflation led to price controls, leading to shortages. Shortages led to protests, leading to repression and the destruction of democracy. Thence to widespread starvation, critical medical shortages, an explosion in crime, and a refugee crisis to rival Syria’s.
All of this used to be obvious enough, but in the age of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez it has to be explained all over again. Why does socialism never work? Because, as Margaret Thatcher explained, “eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
On Sunday, Israel also joined the list of nations condemning the Maduro regime which isn’t likely to go down without a fight.
Israel standing up for democracy, rule of law, and the people of Venezuela. https://t.co/dzP55hWgWT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 27, 2019
Oh man, can you feel the Bern?
How bad is it for Bernie? The braying old crank issued a formal statement trying to put distance between himself and the Maduro catastrophe.
Via Sanders’ official website:
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday on the political situation in Venezuela:
“The Maduro government in Venezuela has been waging a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly and was re-elected last year in an election that many observers said was fraudulent. Further, the economy is a disaster and millions are migrating.
“The United States should support the rule of law, fair elections and self-determination for the Venezuelan people. We must condemn the use of violence against unarmed protesters and the suppression of dissent. However, we must learn the lessons of the past and not be in the business of regime change or supporting coups – as we have in Chile, Guatemala, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. The United States has a long history of inappropriately intervening in Latin American countries; we must not go down that road again.”
When the implosion of socialism in Venezuela is so obvious that not even the radical leftists at the New York Times can no longer ignore the consequences of this failed system it speaks volumes and couldn’t have come at a worse time for Crazy Bernie and his ambitious disciples in the House.