These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina. – Bernie Sanders, 2011

We salute Chavez and the people of Venezuela for turning the clock of history full circle… I look forward to the development of Venezuela, the efficiency of Venezuela, in providing good services and decency for all the people of that country – Jeremy Corbyn, 2013

Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. – Sean Penn, 2013 after the death of Hugo Chavez

To call Venezuela the Saudi Arabia of South America is not quite accurate. This should make Venezuela one of the wealthiest countries on earth, but instead Venezuela is one of the poorest and most violent countries on earth.  The tragic state of Venezuela has been the result of almost two decades of socialist policies that have plunged the country into an economic and political crisis.

Venezuela receives very poor ratings when it comes to political freedom.  It is ranked 179th of 180 countries on Heritage’s Index of Economic Freedom.  Only North Korea scores worse.  These rankings show that Venezuela could have been identified as an unofficial dictatorship, but recent events have pushed the country towards becoming an official dictatorship.

The final nail in the coffin was likely hammered in last weekend when the ruling Socialist Party in Venezuela held a vote that would elect members to rewrite the country’s constitution.  The vote was boycotted by the opposition citing concerns of electoral integrity.  Government sources say 41.5% or almost 8.1 million people voted, but more independent sources put the number at less than half that amount.  The elected members will now have the power to overrule state institutions, including the opposition-controlled legislature.  On Tuesday government agents arrested two opposition leaders.

Venezuela’s “Road to Serfdom” began in 1999 when Hugo Chavez came to power promising socialist revolution.  Over the course of the next 18 years Chavez and his handpicked successor Nicolas Maduro would see Venezuela plummet into an economic and violent hellhole.  Like every good leftist they have blamed their share of boogymen ranging from Colombian “speculators”  to the Washington-orchestrated coups (even former Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel admitted that was untrue) to falling oil prices.  As James Kirchick writes in the Los Angeles Times, “[T]he decline in the value of petroleum has not led to rioting in the streets in Oslo.”

Meanwhile, price controls have led to shortages of basic goods and non stop running of the printing presses have led to hyperinflation rates that boggle the mind.  All the while the government was giving material aid to FARC terrorists.  High ranking government officials have also had ties to Hezbollah, been involved in the drug trade, and have given Venezuelan passports to terrorists in Syria.

In 2009, Hollywood lefty Michael Moore met Hugo Chavez at the Venice Film Festival and tweeted, “Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all.”  Putting aside the obvious falsehood of eliminating poverty, Moore’s old tweet shows the bad habit of the left.  They are prepared to sell their freedom down the river in exchange for some low quality government goodies.  Speaking of Venezuelan healthcare, the state of the Venezuelan healthcare system is abysmal at best.

An April Fox News article lists some problems in Venezuela that include…

  • The losing of limbs due to a lack of antibiotics
  • 97% of hospital services are faulty
  • 75% suffer from scarcity of medical supplies
  • 63% have water problems
  • High increases in infant mortality

July 30, 2017 was not the day freedom died in Venezuela.  That happened a long time ago.  There is no economic freedom in Venezuela.  There is no political freedom in Venezuela.  There are no civil liberties in Venezuela.  All of this in the name of standing for the little guy and battling “the rich” to achieve “equality.”  There are chronic shortages of basic goods such as food and toilet paper, but at least they have free healthcare.