No matter how bad the decline of a socialist state might be, there are always American fellow travelers helping out. I’ve been following the rapidly declining fortunes of Venezuela for some time now. In This Time It’ll Work, earlier this year, I wrote:
The proponents of socialism—communism-lite—when they are willing to admit its failings—virtually never—always claim this time their brand of socialism will be better. This time it will be the perfection socialists have always claimed it must inevitably be. Why? Because they’re much smarter than previous socialists, because they are more morally and intellectually pure, and because socialism can never fail.
Have you noticed, gentle readers, that we not only dodged a big bullet by denying Hillary Clinton the White House, but perhaps a bigger bullet by also denying it to Bernie Sanders, the only openly avowed Socialist in the Congress (he’s not the only one by far, just the most honest about it)? As you’ve alreadyd noticed, American fellow traveler MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is trying to blame Venezuela’s troubles on President Trump. When a nation is resorting to slaughtering and eating zoo animals, I rather doubt they’re paying attention to FEC filings in the United States. Venezuela’s collapse has been rapidly accelerating years before Mr. Trump took office, and he’s done nothing to encourage it before or since.
As CNN Money reports, Venezuela’s descent into eating its own continues apace. Venezuela has now seized GM’s plant and thrown nearly 2700 Venezuelans—many of the few left in the nation gainfully employed—out of work:
GM described the takeover as an ‘illegal judicial seizure of its assets.’
The automaker said the seizure showed a ‘total disregard’ of its legal rights. It said that authorities had removed assets including cars from company facilities.
‘[GM] strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions, within and outside of Venezuela, to defend its rights,’ it said in a statement.
Authorities in Venezuela, which is mired in a severe economic crisis, did not respond to requests for comment.
Imagine that. A nation faced with rampant inflation, that cannot feed its citizens, that is experiencing out of control lawlessness, pulls down, like a drowning man, one of the few economic bright spots that could help keep it afloat, at least a little longer.
It was not immediately clear why authorities seized the GM plant. Huge swaths of Venezuela’s economy have been nationalized in the years since former President Hugo Chavez rose to power. Under Chavez, who took office in 1999, the state took control of private oil, telecommunications, energy and cement businesses.
President Nicolas Maduro has continued the tradition, while blaming the United States and its companies for Venezuela’s economic and political problems.
‘Government decision making is increasingly incoherent. It’s difficult to understand the rationale,’ said Nicolas Watson, head of Latin American research at Teneo Intelligence.
I know why, and I’ll offer my insights to Teneo Intelligence free of charge. Socialist governments on the brink of extinction always blame the United States, just as American socialists—AKA the Democrat Party—always blame Republicans, the Constitution, and every American that does not slavishly accept their ideology. Venezuelan government actions represent some of the final, desperate methods employed by socialist “leaders” who see the noose beginning to tighten around their necks. Their final gasp is always doing whatever is necessary to “save the revolution.” You’re welcome, Teneo. Oh yes, and it won’t be long before Maduro and his goons find themselves standing before a wall facing a very hungry and angry firing squad, if they’re not beaten to death before they get to the wall.
Does seizing the assets of foreign companies and nationalizing them, make any sense, economically, diplomatically or rationally? Of course not, but as one of the final attempts to save a socialist/communist revolution, it’s predictable. Does the Venezuelan government have the ability to reanimate the car plant? Of course not. Do they have the money to buy the parts necessary to operate the plant? Of course not. Since this is merely the latest illegal seizure of foreign assets, will other nations give them money? Of course not.
The GM plant in Valencia employs nearly 2,700 workers, but stopped producing cars in 2015 and has only been selling spare parts since then, a company spokesperson said.
GM said it would make ‘separation payments’ to its workers.
This will matter little as there is virtually nothing, not even food, to buy, and inflation is, as is always the case when socialist countries implode, at stratospheric levels. More bad news:
Venezuela is in crisis mode: The country’s economy shrank by 18% in 2016 — its third consecutive year of recession. Unemployment is set to surpass 25%, and its people have suffered from widespread shortages of food and medicine.
Hyperinflation has wiped out the value of its currency, the bolivar. The price of consumer goods has skyrocketed.
Large-scale protests erupted in recent weeks after Maduro’s administration barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding political office for the next 15 years. At least nine people have been killed in the protests.
Maduro has been accused by the opposition of behaving like a dictator.
In late March, the loyalist-backed Supreme Court tried to strip the opposition-led National Assembly of its powers, but quickly reversed course after a severe public outcry. The Supreme Court also blocked all reforms from opposition lawmakers.
One of the surest signs of trouble is Coca Cola stopped making Coke more than a year ago because there was no sugar available. When Coca Cola can’t operate, the end is nigh. But the best indicator of rapidly approaching doom comes from Fox News:
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he will expand the number of civilians involved in armed militias, providing guns to as many as 400,000 loyalists.
The announcement came as Maduro’s opponents are gearing up for what they pledge will be the largest rally yet to press for elections and a host of other demands Wednesday.
The Bolivarian militias, currently at approximately 100,000, were created by the late Hugo Chavez to assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks.
Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace, Maduro said that vision remains relevant as Venezuela continues to face ‘imperialist aggression.’
‘A gun for every militiaman!’ he cried.
And what “foreign aggression” might this be?
Maduro’s government claims foreign-backed opposition leaders are fomenting violence in an attempt to remove him from power. The opposition denies that assertion, saying it is Maduro himself who is responsible for Venezuela’s woes, including triple-digit inflation, rising crime and food shortages.
They also blame Maduro for ordering security forces to use tear gas against protesters and failing to stop pro-government armed groups from attacking demonstrators.
During the act, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez read a text saying the country is living a ‘crucial situation.’
‘The excessive ambition of [our] enemies threatens the peace and stability by carrying out a criminal agenda loaded with hate that includes terrorist acts, disturbances, looting, vandalism, different forms of violence against innocent people and public health facilities,’ Padrino said.
The textbook socialist solution is to give 400,00 socialist loyalists guns to kill the enemies of the revolution. And who are these enemies? Starving Venezuelans desperate for mere survival. Venezuelans who finally realize their leaders are dictators willing to kill them retain their stolen wealth and the power they have illegitimately stolen.
This gentle readers, is what many of our self-imagined elite political class have in store for us. This is why they never rest in their determination to disarm the law-abiding. This is why they are desperate that government—their revolution—have all the guns and all the power. They know Americans are not like the people of any other nations. Americans will not put up with the destruction of liberty, or at least something under 50% will not.
Rational Americans can watch the descent of Venezuela, at one time one of the wealthiest, most resource-rich nations in our hemisphere, and learn the inevitable lessons of history. With socialism, it is always the same.
But our American socialists will do it right! This time they’ll succeed where every socialist in history has failed. Because they’re much smarter, and because socialism can never fail—if only they can convince Americans to give up their guns and their liberty…