Venezuela

Rule of Law Collapses in Venezuela As Maduro Continues to Push Socialist Agenda

Vigilante violence plagues the streets, citizens are hunting dogs and cats for food, but the president insists Bolivarian socialism will save the day.

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Venezuela on fire
Jorge Perez/Dreamstime.com

Venezuela, home of the largest oil reserves in the world and once the richest country in Latin America, continues to descend even further into a violent political and humanitarian disaster, while the political leadership responsible for the destruction of the nation's economy continues to insist its own failed economic philosophy will make the nation prosperous again.  

The country that was hailed by liberal economic writers like David Sirota as an "economic miracle" only three years ago now features its citizens "hunting dogs and cats in the streets, and pigeons in the plazas to eat," according to one of the district mayors in the capital of Caracas.

Just last year, British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn praised the government of Venezuela, adding that what was needed was "solidarity" among Latin American governments and not "a dependence on the U.S.A." Corbyn also alluded to American "interference" in Venezuelan affairs as similar to the CIA-backed coup in Chile in 1973.

But the government of President Nicolas Maduro doesn't need any outside actors to bring his country to its knees, his own socialist policies and rampant corruption have wreaked arguably as much havoc as any foreign invader could. 

The AP reports that vigilante violence has grown rampant, as exemplified by an incident where a mob beat a man suspected of stealing the equivalent of five dollars, before burning him alive.

The work-week has been limited to two days, irregular electricity blackouts are common, babies are dying at a rate of seven per day, and as the New York Times noted, more people died in Venezuela in the first three months of 2016 than all the civilians killed in war-torn Afghanistan in 2015 combined.

While Venezuelans suffer and die in filthy, poorly-equipped hospitals with little access to basic (forget life-saving) drugs, the government of President Nicolas Maduro — which continues the legacy of his late predecessor Hugo Chavez by wasting a fortune on incredibly dumb national expenditures — is attempting to pay down some of its debt to India in an oil-for-pharmaceuticals barter scheme.

Yesterday, Maduro called on supporters to "defend the homeland" in a speech, assuring them that the "Bolivarian Economic Agenda" will turn things around any day now. He has repeatedly blamed his country's crisis on anyone from "rightwingers" and "the rich" to US-backed foreign agents attempting to stage a coup to "traitors" among the ranks of Latin American bureaucrats.

Maduro's party was trounced in parliamentary elections last December, and the opposition has called for a recall vote, which Maduro has attempted to block by invoking a 60-day state of emergency. Protesters in support of the recall were met with teargas yesterday, and an op-ed in The Guardian compared Maduro's "scorched earth" tactics to those used by Saddam Hussein after his Iraqi army was expelled from Kuwait in 1991. 

Maduro's government will probably fall, and it could very well happen soon. The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone? 

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132 responses to “Rule of Law Collapses in Venezuela As Maduro Continues to Push Socialist Agenda

  1. Remember folks, things can ALWAYS get worse.

    1. They’ll get it right next time!

      1. Exactly!

        The wrong people were in charge this time.

        1. If they were White Scandanavians they’d had got it to work.
          – Barack Obama

  2. Rule of Law Collapses in Venezuela As Because Maduro Continues to Push Socialist Agenda

    You’re welcome.

    1. **applauds**

  3. “The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone?”

    Anarchy?

    1. The Venezuelans should be so lucky.

      1. There are some good looking womynz down there.

        That should get the economy going, starting with the beer sales.

        1. Im’a blastin’ off
          Baby, I’m Venus bound…

    2. Libertopia?

    3. Fear not. Comrade Maduro will achieve income equality for all, even if he has to kill every man, woman and child in Venezuela to do it!!

    4. “The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone?”

      A wrecked country that will probably have another caudillo within a decade?

    5. More likely a military junta followed by yet another strongman dictator. They may or may not flirt with direct democracy at some point in there before the next dictator, but probably not.

  4. “citizens are hunting dogs and cats for food,”

    That’s something I’d like to see sourced. It sounds a little TOO good to be true.

    1. A Venezuelan mayor said this was going on

      “”People are hunting dogs and cats in the streets, and pigeons in the plazas to eat,” Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the Caracas district of Chacao, said this month in a tweet that was reported in many newspapers.”

      1. So a lie then. I never trust what a politician says.

        1. He’s just angling to get disaster relief from the feds.

          1. He’s just angling to get disaster relief from the feds UN.

            FTFY

            1. The U.N. gets it’s money from…?

              1. Me and you.

                Fuck.

                1. That is problematic for Muslims.

      2. Link to the tweet.

        Google translation of the tweet:

        Apropos of the news yesterday on a military that stole some goats to eat : there are people “hunting ” cats and dogs in the streets , and pigeons in the squares, to eat them. This is not a joke. It is a very painful reality.

    2. Children are easier to lure and catch, have more meat on them, and are far from endangered.

  5. The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone?

    Hitler?

    1. Too soon! But the Downfall parodies will be entertaining.

  6. Maduro’s government will probably fall, and it could very well happen soon. The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone?

    A libertarian paradise, just like Somalia!!!

    /proglodyte

    1. The problem is that the Venezuelan people are going to fall back onto what they know. Big government: electric Bogaloo.

      1. True, if Maduro weren’t such a vile capitalist, things wouldn’t be so bad.

  7. It sounds like the creases in Maduro’s pants aren’t as nice as they could be.

  8. The socialist leader, Hugo Chavez’s successor, claims such a move would have devastating impacts on the country.

    And he even insists Venezuela’s healthcare is one of the best in the world: ‘I doubt that anywhere in the world, except in Cuba, there exists a better health system than this one,’ he said.

    1. They’re out of breast implants.

      1. I saw a thing on Vice that was about plastic surgery in Venezuela. The host chick had to go through all sort of shit to buy some maxipads on the black market, but people were still spending money on plastic surgery. It was bonkers.

    2. It’s ok, he’s got movie stars and politicians in this country pointing to the very things going on in Venezuela as proof their society is more equitable.

  9. Will David Sirota issue a mea culpa for his ‘economic miracle’ piece?

    1. Right around the time The Guardian apologizes for the dozen or so pieces they ran along the same vein

  10. attempting to pay down some of its debt to India in an oil-for-pharmaceuticals barter scheme.

    Austerity measures ruined Venezuelan economy!

  11. Maduro’s government will probably fall, and it could very well happen soon. The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone?

    A prevailing and completely misdirected hatred for America and capitalism?

    1. A prevailing and completely misdirected hatred for America and capitalism?

      Don’t they already have that?

  12. AmSoc: pick up the red courtesy phone…

    1. AmSoc: pick up the red courtesy rotary phone…

      1. What are you, a stinkin’ capitalist?! That’s why we have operators to connect us Comrade!

  13. How many people have to die before we rightfully recognize socialism as a crime against humanity? What makes it any better than the Holocaust?

    Who am I kidding.

    1. What makes it any better than the Holocaust?

      Intentions.

      1. I dunno, Hitler had good intentions.

        1. Not really.

    2. What makes it any better than the Holocaust Holodomor?

      1. Well, it seems more productive to compare it to things the general populace actually knows about.

        1. Yes, yes. It’s just that the stories of people eating cats and dogs makes me fear that things might soon get… worse.

          1. When I heard tales of pet-eating my first question is “how long until we hear about cannibalism?”

    3. Well, for one thing Hitler liked the socialists so much he had them all killed. See, even Hitler didn’t like them!

      1. Hitler only killed the international socialists. He kept the national ones.

        1. The national ones were the one’s talking about a second revolution as I recall, to redistribute wealth, but it’s been a while.

        2. No, he killed nationalist ones first. Night of Long Knives and all that…

  14. People feeling the Bern should ask the guy who was killed over stealing $5 how that worked out for him.

    1. He didn’t go through the proper channels of getting the state to do it for him.

  15. I spent a few minutes looking at DU posts. Besides some pretty anodyne regrets for the situation (by people who would institute similar problems in America given half a chance), a lot of the kiddies were bemoaning just how much worse a state the US will be in when our economy collapses, because we’re predominantly unenlightened fascists champing at the bit to start murdering poor dissident socialists.

    1. because we’re predominantly unenlightened fascists champing at the bit to start murdering poor dissident socialists.

      They’re not wrong…

      1. I don’t want to murder socialist. There’s a much worse punishment for them: make ’em get a job.

        1. I don’t really want to murder anyone, but in an economic collapse, I have a feeling people who expect others to pay their way, won’t fare so well.

          1. I was hoping the recession might make people realize that, but they got enough bumwiping from Obama to avoid having to learn any sort of lesson.

          2. people who expect others to pay their way

            Also known as “thieves and robbers”.

          3. In the post-apocalypse, I can just see some disheveled bastard roaming from one armed encampment to another trying to cash a government entitlement check or use Food Stamp coupons.

            On a sadder note, after the Soviet Union fell, there was one old timer quoted saying “who is going to take care of me now?”.

            Socialism, a little dab will do ya….

      2. They are wrong. I have no respect for Trump or his voters, but they’re not violent sociopaths, they’re misguided idiots who think trade barriers and border control will undo the damage decades of regulatory and economic controls have caused. Yes, they’re willing to cashier their civil liberties if it means directing a little political lucre their way. Yes, Trump gets by on bravado and pugnaciousness. But as far as actual fascistic tendencies go, he has nothing on Chavez or Maduro or even Obama. The violent thugs championing lawless autocrats are mostly on the left.

        1. I was actually speaking for myself. In a mad max world, if some clown says he’s entitled to my stuff, I’m going to give him a three count to get out of rifle range.

          1. Better to shoot him on the spot. Let him go and he’s going to come back with friends.

            1. That’s not very sporting of you.

            2. sarcasmic- Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up is definitely the way to go in that scenario.

              1. This is tough for me.

                Where I live, the granite bedrock ranges from “completely exposed” to “about six inches down”.

                I may have to get some pigs.

          2. Oh be honest, the three count is only because he’s too close to use the scope.

            1. I refuse to put a scope on my Marlin 35 cal. It’s a brush gun dang it! Not everything needs a scope!

              1. Ghost rings are the way to go on short lever guns.

                1. I’m a big fan of red dot sights, myself. Magical target acquisition with both eyes open FTW.

          3. That’s pretty generous of you Hipster. I’d imagine most people would be going through their pockets already by the time you finished counting.

        2. Well said.

      3. They’re not wrong…

        My first reaction was “If only . . .”

    2. we’re predominantly unenlightened fascists champing at the bit to start murdering poor dissident socialists.

      In addition to economic illiteracy and and inability to understand basic math, socialists are also known for having an outsized sense of victimhood. Even when/if they get everything they want they’ll still be bitching and moaning about something.

  16. Gee, I wonder what Bernie has to say about this situation? Obviously they were doing the Socialism wrong and he’ll do it right.

  17. You people can’t appreciate how wonderful the situation in Venezuela is right now. The Bolivarian socialists have no doubt achieved the greatest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of any country on the planet. They are an example for us all.

    1. My friend’s dad tried to make exactly this argument with me a couple months ago. He recently recovered from a stroke, though, so i cut him some slack.

    2. I don’t know about that Cato, check out North Korea from space!

      1. Whoops, sorry, you said ‘reduction’ which implies there was something there to start with. Comment retracted!

  18. Once the government collapses it will be Venezuela’s libertarian moment.

  19. Venezuela’s feeling the Bern.

  20. “The question is, what will be left once he and his disastrous policies are gone?”

    A failed state.

  21. I just hope that the people of Venezuela get that motherfucker strung up from a lamppost as quickly as possible to minimize the bloodshed.

    -jcr

    1. Despite adhering to the non-aggression principle, I can’t help but thinking the same thing. This monster needs to be dethroned immediately before he can hurt more innocent people.

      1. Self defense is not a violation of the NAP.

    1. What? I’m sure late Chavez preferred Spanish vintages, but he’d dig in just the same…

    2. Well, he IS a Boomer. Socialism has done right by the Boomers for decades now. And they can feel the Ponzi’s are about to tip over sideways, so time to double down. As long as his social security checks cash and his medicare insurance is protected, he’ll support whatever thugs are necessary.

    3. That lunch probably cost that motherfucker $40.

    4. Mike Hartford ?@MikeHartford6 May 17

      @mcmoynihan Alternate caption: Local man successfully trades money for wine/lunch/newspaper voluntarily, laments failure of coerced “trades”

      That’s gold. Which reason commenter is this?

  22. The Guardian compared Maduro’s “scorched earth” tactics to those used by Saddam Hussein after his Iraqi army was expelled from Kuwait in 1991.

    When you’ve lost the Guardian…

    1. They’re setting up Maduro to be the scapegoat, the “failed successor” to the idol Hugo.

      1. That would be the Hugo whose daughter is now, mysteriously, a billionaire living out of the country?

  23. Still not reported in my local paper. If you hit the search icon, stories show up that are pulled off the AP wire. But if you go to the Nation and World section, there is no mention of Venezuela anywhere.

    1. It’s barely getting mentioned. Just cursory, “Venezuela has economic problems due to oil collapse”.

      Hey Chomsky, what’s that about manufacturing consent, and who’s doing the manufacturing?

  24. IT’S NOT SOCIALISM!

  25. They say History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

    So the question is: Is this tragedy, or is it farce?

    1. This is far from the second time.

      1. So what comes after farce? Tragicomedy?

        1. Oh, like when a clown dies.

  26. Hey: they nationalized the oil industry. Same as the Nordic model.

    It should turn into Sweden any day now.

    1. Norway’s the one with oil.

      1. Oh, right: it should turn into Norway any day now.

        Now it all makes sense.

  27. Huh, Google is celebrating a human rights activist who advocated segregation. Good to know.

  28. I guess they must have missed the “optimism” video posted here yesterday. Happiness, after all, is in your hands. I’m sure they just need a little more technology dumped in.

    And, I’m going to assume, the whole transgender bathroom thing isn’t quite as big down there right now?

    Silver linings, etc.

  29. “The work-week has been limited to two days, irregular electricity blackouts are common, babies are dying at a rate of seven per day, and as the New York Times noted, more people died in Venezuela in the first three months of 2016 than all the civilians killed in war-torn Afghanistan in 2015 combined.”

    This is why people turn to outright fascism.

    Not the kind of fascism American leftists denounce–like when someone gets paid less than a living wage.

    I’m talking about the real fascism.

    The kind of fascism that makes the trains run on time. The kind of fascism that rounds up dissenters and drops them into the ocean from 30,000 feet. And I’m not talking about right-wing reactionary dissenters. I’m talking about them rounding up labor leaders, progressives, environmentalists, etc. That kind of fascism.

    The leftists in Venezuela better hope there isn’t an equal and opposite reaction to what they’ve done to the Venezuelan people since Chavez took power. But if there is, it won’t–only–be the fault of the fascists.

  30. “Babies are dying at a rate of seven per day, and as the New York Times noted”

    That babies dying at seven a day quote should be qualified.

    I read that piece at the NYT.

    Babies died at the rate of seven per day in that one hospital.

    Here’s what’s happen to the mortality rate among newborns and their mothers:

    “The figures are devastating. The rate of death among babies under a month old increased more than a hundredfold in public hospitals run by the Health Ministry . . . . The rate of death among new mothers in those hospitals increased by almost five times in the same period, according to the report.”

    http://tinyurl.com/zxbchbu

    More than seven babies are dying per day. It was just that one day in one hospital. They lost those babies because of rolling blackouts. The incubators went off, and the babies that needed help to breathe had to have their lungs ventilated manually. They don’t have enough functional incubators, and their back up generator doesn’t work anymore. They don’t have any antibiotics.

    Their health system is a horror show. It’s total collapse.

    1. But it’s an egalitarian horror show.

      Winning!

  31. I wonder if Am Soc’s been by to post the GDP’s of Venezuela compared to Columbia from 2013 as if that proves something yet…

    If not I’m sure he’ll be here soon with the usual litany of tired excuses for Venezuela’s failure.

  32. I blame the Europeans for appropriating the word “socialism” to refer to their capitalist welfare states. This has created the impression among lefties that Venezuela and Sweden are applying basically the same economic model, the only difference being the corruption (i.e. Wrong people in charge) and/or interference from the U.S. If the Europeans had any interest in discouraging Venezuela-style kleptocracies from taking root elsewhere, they would come up with another name for their model to distance themselves from Maduro.

    1. “If the Europeans had any interest in discouraging Venezuela-style kleptocracies from taking root elsewhere, they would come up with another name for their model to distance themselves from Maduro.”

      Call it whatever you want. Whatever else capitalism is, it also has to do with private ownership and prices set by markets. Whatever else socialism is, it has to do with public ownership and interference in the markets.

      Seems to me that Venezuela is a more radical version of socialism than, say, what you find in France, but to whatever extent France is suffering from the same, albeit less severe, symptoms, it is suffering them because of public ownership and government interference in their markets.

  33. I’m learning a lot from this article. Things like: boy, I sure am glad I don’t live in the north part of South America, countries there tend to have unstable governments interspaced by military dictatorships, and that governments that are authoritarian are bad. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, we should defund Social Security and Medicare, and then make crazy analogies about how socialism that is run by a dictator in the 3rd world is instructive on how social democracy =crypto-fascism in the 1st world. Sorry, missed those last two.

    1. I’m learning a lot from this article.

      Obviously not … then again telling lies is what socialist do.

  34. Let’s hope it all implodes in an orgy of cannibalism.

  35. Today: Maduro!
    Tomorrow: The corrupt government in Sacramento!

    1. Here Today, Gone Maduro?

  36. Sadly, this is probably coming to the US thanks to Trump, who is a Latin American strongman in everything but the Latin part

  37. Those pigeons were originally intended as food anyway, what’s the big deal?

  38. a mob beat a man suspected of stealing the equivalent of five dollars, before burning him alive.

    I guess you could say…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    He really felt the Bern.

    Yeeeeaaaaahhhh!

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