Venezuela was the richest country in South America as recently as the early 2000's. At this time, the country held the largest fossil-fuel reserves in the entire world (and it still does). By 2004, oil prices had surged and the phrase "too big to fail" might have seemed relevant as this booming Southern American country had economically shot to the top and held a new ambitious morale for the future. Less than 20 years later, the people of Venezuela are enduring violent clashes with federal forces in an attempt to liberate themselves from starvation, poverty and oppression. So what the heck happened? One word, socialism. Yes, the same socialism which the Democrat Party wants to bring to the United States today.
Hugo Chavez won the Venezuelan election in 1998 after promising to make huge economic changes that were intended to benefit and uplift the poor citizens of his country. Chavez blamed business elites for economic inequality and suggested that free healthcare, free education, heavily taxing the rich, enormous welfare programs and subsidizing food markets would promote prosperity and opportunity for the Venezuelan people. Do those policies sound familiar? Maybe something you've heard from American Democrat politicians? These policies actually date back to the mid 1800's when Karl Marx invented the monstrous ideology which would evolve into what we know today as socialism.
Chavez, Left. Maduro, Right.
A wise musician once said that a lot of people have "good intentions but bad ideas". Joseph Stalin once said the the intentions of socialism was full blown communism. Regardless of initial intentions, the actions taken by Hugo Chavez, and continued by his hand picked successor Nicolas Maduro, have proven to be awful ideas that have resulted in pain, poverty, suffering, starvation, oppression and death. This should not come as a surprise to any educated minds as socialism, really any form on Marxism, always results in detrimental outcomes for the citizens. Let's break down how these socialist policies have effected Venezuelans.
As a reminder, Venezuela was the richest country in South America as recently as the early 2000's. The implementation of socialist polices by Chavez did actually cause the poverty rate to rapidly drop in half, immediately followed by a skyrocketing poverty rate which is now over 90% of the entire population. Venezuela has endured the highest inflation rate in the world of 946% in 2017, and then toppled that recorded with a whopping 2,688,670% inflation rate in January of 2019. Hyperinflation is projected to reach 10,000,000% within 2019. From 2013 to 2017, GDP had fallen 35%, which is even sharper than that seen during the Great Depression. Although, that is nothing compared to the 189% decrease in GDP from 2004 to 2018.
The result? In short, even liberal media outlet CNN is publishing articles entitled "Can rabbit meat save Venezuela from going hungry?" (2017). The citizens who were once excited for their new government to enact socialist reform are now running out of wild animals to eat for survival. The stores are empty, there is a scarcity of medicine and basic necessitates, the jobs are nonexistent and the socialist leader Maduro is refusing to leave office although over 80% of the population want him to step down. Socialist leaders always tend to convert themselves into dictators of some from, let's remember Stalin's quote from earlier in this article. Being stripped of their weapons in 2012, the Venezuelan people are now being brutally bullied by the Maduro regime in their attempt to revert back to a free, economically prosperous country (by ditching socialism).
As another reminder, the socialist Venezuelan government had enacted free healthcare, free college, overhauled other private industries, heavily taxed the rich to create a large welfare state, and instituted a national gun ban. These are the exact same policies which are being pushed and endorsed by the Democrat Party today. Bernie Sanders, the face of the today's Democrat Party, has openly endorsed and embraced the actions of Venezuela's socialism. He has even went as far as to create an article in 2011 on his senate website where he stated that in Venezuela "the American dream is more apt to be realized". The Democrat Party once rejected the accusation that they were promoting socialist ideologies, today they proudly scream for socialism as they even shed light on Karl Marx and reject American capitalism. American citizens must reject the socialism of the Democrat Party in order to sustain freedom, prosperity and security for the future.