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Venezuela’s Tragic Mass Exodus Has Only One Cause: Socialism

Death By Socialism: As millions flee the disaster that is Venezuela, the government is in full denial. This is now the crazy part of socialism, where the unbridled power of socialist elites ignores the unfolding catastrophe before them. It’s a preventable tragedy.

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The United Nations estimates that at least 2.3 million people have departed Venezuela since 2015, when its current economic and political crisis began. That’s roughly equal to about 7% of the country’s population.

Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez denies any exodus, calling the mass emigration of the oil-rich nation’s citizens “normal,” and blaming it all on lies by “enemy countries” trying to provoke a military intervention.

Rodriguez’s comments didn’t come out of the blue. They followed an extraordinary meeting held in Quito, Ecuador, by 11 neighboring countries that are bearing the brunt of Venezuela’s massive flood of emigrants. Their request was, given the circumstances, extraordinarily lenient: They asked that, at minimum, Venezuela give valid passports and identity cards to those leaving so that the countries can better identify them.


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This is the last phase of human hopelessness. When socialism fails, as it inevitably does, people leave. According to the aid organization Caritas, half of Venezuela’s children suffer from malnutrition.

A report this week from Amnesty International painted a bleak picture: Millions of people have been forced to leave everything behind and walk for days on end to escape massive human rights violations in Venezuela, including arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions, torture and violations of their rights to food and health,” according to Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty’s Americas director.

Increasingly, staying is not an option. In a heart-rending piece this week, a New York Times headline says it all: “As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying Of Hunger.”

“Hunger has gripped the nation for years,” the Times says. “Now, it’s killing children.”

We hate to quibble with such powerful reporting, but hunger isn’t gripping the nation — socialism is.

Hugo Chavez seized power in 1999 through his so-called “Bolivarian Revolution.” After years of being propped up by soaring oil prices, it turned sour under Chavez’s successor, former bus driver-turned-dictator Nicolas Maduro. Now the country suffers from a host of economic maladies, ranging from 83,000% inflation, a lack of food and basic necessities on store shelves, a worthless currency, and double-digit unemployment.

Besides, despite having the largest oil reserves on earth, it’s essentially bankrupt.

The economy shrank by 16% in 2016, 14% in 2017 and will likely fall at least 15% in 2018, according to IMF projections made earlier this year. Since 2013, more than half the economy has simply disappeared.

All of the well-meaning aid groups, the U.N. and the surrounding countries that are dealing with Venezuela’s human flood urge more aid and open borders for those who decide to leave. Meanwhile, a recent opinion piece in the online Foreign Affairs urges policymakers, “Don’t Focus on Regime Change in Venezuela.”

Sorry, but that’s exactly backward. The focus should be almost entirely on regime change.

Its neighbors should demand that Venezuela’s socialist government, the perpetrator of this demographic atrocity, resign immediately. That’s the only way to end the “crisis” peacefully.

And, no, it wasn’t caused by “crop failure,” “global warming,” “foreign intervention” or “social instability.” These are the kinds of excuses often made by socialist regimes for their failures.

Who would do the demanding? The 11 South American countries most affected by Venezuela’s socialist failure should handle this problem themselves. If the U.S. got involved, it would only look like bullying. Venezuela has no right to make other nations suffer for its failures.

Venezuela: Will U.S. Repeat Its Mistake?

That doesn’t mean we should do nothing. The U.S. today lives under its own socialist threat. Socialist candidates, ranging from Sen. Bernie Sanders, New York Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Florida Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, and Massachusetts candidate Ayanna Pressley, have come to the fore in recent U.S. primary elections. Americans will be making an enormous mistake to hand them power of any sort.

Among the poorly educated young, socialism is no longer a dirty word. To older voters who never actually lived under socialism or only vaguely remember how awful it was before the collapse of the former Soviet Union, socialism seems squishy, harmless — like Social Security on steroids.

It’s not. Socialism isn’t utopia. And it’s not harmless. It’s a plan to replace your freedom, morals and personal responsibility with control by an all-powerful state. To destroy the free-market system that has made this the wealthiest country on Earth. With time, it will ruin America and lead to the same sorts of tragedies seen today in Venezuela.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

Millennials May Love Socialism, But Socialism Won’t Love Them Back

Socialism Is Here Today in South America and Africa — Is U.S. Next?

Democratic Socialism: Who Knew That ‘Free’ Could Cost So Much?


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