LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: The exodus from Venezuela threatens to descend into chaos.
EVER since Nicolás Maduro became president of Venezuela, the plight of the country’s citizens has gone from bad to worse. On August 19th 1,000 Venezuelan migrants fled from the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima after locals attacked them with sticks and stones. Around 60 Brazilian soldiers are expected to arrive in the town today to ensure safe passage for Venezuelans entering the country. Elsewhere, however, the situation is deteriorating. On August 18th Ecuador unexpectedly began requiring Venezuelans crossing into their country from Colombia to present passports rather than identity cards. Peru will do the same from August 25th.
The exodus has surged under Mr Maduro’s rule, characterised by political repression and grotesque economic mismanagement. Inflation has spiralled as high as 80,000%, making cash all but useless and food and medicine scarce. On August 20th the government will knock five zeros off its currency and anchor it to the oil price via a government-run virtual currency. In a poll conducted at the end of 2017, half of 18- to 29-year-olds and 55% of the middle class said they wanted to leave the country. Of those who hoped to flee, two-thirds gave the state of the economy as their reason.
We’ve seen this narrative before. Notice how Maduro is being set up as the bad guy here, the Stalin to Chavez’s Lenin — the brute who betrayed the noble ideals of the revolution.
Never mind the fact that everything that Stalin …er, Maduro… did was set in motion by Chavez. And that only untimely deaths prevented Lenin or Chavez from fulfilling their own vile plans themselves.
For all the love lavished on Venezuela’s Bolivarian socialism by Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore, Sean Penn, et al, I wonder if any of them actually put any money on the regime?
Not really. I’m sure the answer is no.