Venezuela—formerly the fourth-richest country in the world per capita– has been the latest nation to fall victim to socialism.
The damage is vast: Venezuela’s economy has contracted by 25% in the last four years, and total economic collapse looms dangerously near. Inflation is at a high, and the value of the bolivar (the country’s currency) has plummeted. The nation faces shortages of nearly everything—even basic staples like bread and water. Food riots are a regular occurrence. Medicine is practically nonexistent and the majority of Venezuelan hospitals do not even have running water. The country is crumbling, as what began as a political crisis has evolved into an economic one. Due to the perils of socialism, a once-wealthy, thriving nation now teeters on the brink of bankruptcy and civil war.
President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, however, refuses to confront this reality and has instead chosen to silence his opposition. During a vote in July, Venezuelan citizens were asked to choose a group from a list of allies in the governing party that would rewrite the country’s constitution and hold power in Venezuelan government until their “work” is complete. This would essentially give President Maduro and his ruling party the power to dissolve branches of government—particularly the legislature, which is currently controlled by Maduro’s opposition party. Members of the list included Maduro’s political supporters, donors, cronies, and even his own wife. Furthermore, Venezuelans were not given the ability to reject this plan at all, just to decide who they wanted on the council.
Simply put, Venezuela is operating under an illegitimate democracy. This, coupled with the rise of socialism, has gradually been leading to the country’s complete destruction.
Economically, Venezuela can no longer support its own people, since years of socialist policies have led to horrible pitfalls such as big government interference, the overprinting of money, and a war on capitalism that seems harder and harder to win as time goes on. Likewise, Venezuela’s tremendously low score in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index makes it the most corrupt country in the western hemisphere, and the country sits at the bottom of The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom, as well.
In the United States, the mainstream media has been reporting on the economic and political crisis in Venezuela, showing the demonstrations against the government, the killing of protesters, and the terrorization of the public. And yet, in spite of the evidence of socialism’s dangers, there are still Americans duped into believing that socialism is a magic fix for all economic problems. There are still Americans who believe the tall tales of deceitful politicians like Bernie Sanders, easily enamored by notions of “free stuff” and so-called financial equality.
These Americans need to wake up; the idea of a successful socialist nation is nothing but a fantasy. Want to see what a real, “successful” socialist nation actually looks like? Take a look at Venezuela.