Enslavement is a word most frequently used when referencing the early 17th century’s subjugation and complete loss of freedom for actual human beings. In today’s world, slavery still exists through human trafficking and other evils, but it also exists very broadly in places like Venezuela.
Venezuela is certainly a place where basic human freedom has disappeared as we’ve seen in recent events. This South American country is one in which our “well-meaning” liberal friends should keep in mind when pushing their politics. We know that the left and the Democratic Party tend push ideas and policies that near the American economy to a socialist edge. Under Hugo Chavez’s regime and now under Maduro, however, the working poor and virtually everyone in the economy is suffering from famine and death, partly due to these socialist behaviors.
In the 2016 election, Maduro’s regime worked to undermine opposition through the use of force and coercion. For instance, in August, police forces gunned down 16 student protestors and the number of Gestapo incidences have only increased since then as well.
According to Ricardo Hausmann at Project Syndicate, Venezuela’s economic system is 35% smaller than it was in 2013 in terms of gross home product and the national economy saw a 40% decrease in GDP, in terms of capita. Additionally, Venezuelans can’t even get beer to deal with their struggles. Matt Kibbe highlights the latest events surrounding Cerveza Polar, Venezuela’s largest brewery. Cerveza Polar services 80% of the market and has now stopped production, meaning citizens can’t even get alcohol to cope with their socio-economic crisis.
In July of 2017, the Venezuelan government opened a bridge between itself and Columbia where an estimated 35,000 people crossed to find food, medicine, and basic household goods. While chaos continues to ravage Venezuela, the world has chosen to turn a blind eye. Google trends and search patterns shows a downward trend for the Venezuelan Crisis going into 2018 while the mainstream media remains silent as untold numbers die in Venezuelan streets.
Regardless of todays divided partisan environment, “progressives” should know that pushing government above the individual leads to chaos. Socialism is never the answer. It was not the answer for the Soviets and it is most definitely not the answer for Venezuelans. Just as progressives fear the greed of capitalists, so too should they fear the greed of dictators and tyrants.
A capitalist sells, but a tyrant steals.