Venezuela

America's Stubborn Left Clings to Nicolas Maduro Despite All Evidence

It's time to admit that Venezuela's "21st century socialism" failed.

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Andrea Romero Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

President Donald Trump's full-fledged backing of Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela last week, was met with a bipartisan support among American political leaders. But one stubborn segment of the ideological spectrum is unimpressed and has gone so far as to compare Trump's move to America's 20th century transgressions in the region.

These protests are being led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Noam Chomsky and other notable cheerleaders of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who brought socialism to the country two decades ago. The elder statesman of America's left penned a tone-deaf letter, co-signed by dozens of U.S. intellectuals, rejecting attempts by Venezuela's opposition to remove Nicolás Maduro from office and insisting that U.S. sanctions are to blame for "worsening" Venezuela's economic calamities.

Although the Democratic Party establishment has fully embraced Guaido, freshman members of its new House majority have troublingly joined the chorus against Trump's decision.

Rep. Ro Kahnna (D–Calif.) took a shot at Sen. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.) for embracing the opposition leader, calling Venezuela's situation an "internal, polarized conflict." Rep. Ilhan Omar (D–Minn.) took to Twitter to decry "U.S. meddling," adding that Venezuela's Supreme Court, stacked with Maduro loyalists, had declared Guaido's action "unconstitutional." Never mind that in 2017, that same court allowed Maduro to strip Venezuela's Congress—the only governing institution he did not then control—of its powers and set up a parallel legislature, essentially giving him dictatorial power.

To be clear, supporting Maduro or downplaying the catastrophe he and Chavez have overseen in Venezuela is a fringe position. The leadership there is responsible for human rights abuses, rampant corruption, and a full-blown humanitarian crisis in the region, with the United Nations putting the number of Venezuelan refugees abroad at a staggering 3 million, or almost 10 percent of the country's total population.

Last year, Maduro was re-elected in what the U.S. called "a sham election," which the European Union said was neither free nor fair. Among the abuses, second-place candidate Henri Falcon accused the government of buying votes through food and money giveaways at polling stations.

Internationally, Guaido has the backing of a vast majority of Latin America nations, the U.K., Canada, Australia, and counting. The E.U. has given Maduro eight days to call new, credible elections or it will also back the 35-year-old opposition leader.

With Maduro's dismal record and a nearly worldwide consensus against him, why are some on America's left turning their fire on the United States instead?

Venezuela's Socialist Failure

Hugo Chavez's experiment was cleverly dubbed "socialism of the 21st century," in part to lure and charm the international left, which was hungry for another shot at making socialism work somewhere.

It was a brilliant move, giving Chavez an army of apologists in American intellectual circles ready to make excuses for his questionable economic policies and, when they failed, blame the U.S. and Venezuela's "rich elites" for the results.

They were clearly played. As Chomsky admitted in a 2017 interview, Chavez only haphazardly implemented socialism. Instead, his regime established a corrupt machine that would ultimately develop into just another kleptocracy.

When Chavez did implement socialist-style policies, they served as the blueprint for Venezuela's current economic catastrophe. The expropriation of industries, the pillaging of state oil company PDVSA, the currency exchange controls, and the war on the private sector all made Venezuela a case study in how hardcore tampering with the market economy ruins nations.

Leftists in the U.S. won't disavow Maduro because they cannot accept that they were wrong about Venezuela, that the socialist experiment they pinned their hopes on not only failed but led to a humanitarian crisis.

U.S. Imperialism, Again?

Reps. Khanna and Omar suggest that American sanctions are largely to blame for the hyperinflation, food shortages, and other hallmarks of life in Venezuela today and imply that they're merely opposing U.S. intervention in another country's affairs. But no U.S.-backed coup has taken place in Venezuela. In fact, a coalition of Latin American nations, the Lima Group, has led the fight against Maduro and has specifically requested U.S. help.

This is far different from the 1953 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala or the coup in Chile that helped install Augusto Pinochet in 1973, both of which were backed by the CIA to further U.S. political and economic interests. Needless to say, one doesn't have to defend economic sanctions, let alone support military intervention in Venezuela, in order to reject Maduro's legitimacy. But for those on the hard edges of the American left, nothing has changed since the end of the Cold War: The U.S. continues to be the boogeyman, and Latin America continues to be a victim that lacks agency.

Neither Omar nor Khanna seem to be bothered by that the fact that China and Russia are financially and politically propping up Maduro for their own strategic benefit. These countries have also delivered weapons that are used to bolster the regime and intimidate a population into submission.

The idea that only the U.S. is capable of harmful intervention in developing nations is dangerously inaccurate in the multipolar world of 2019.

Proving Their Critics Right

The new crop of Democrats cry foul when right-wing media labels them radicals. But they risk proving their critics right when they refuse to acknowledge Maduro's destruction of Venezuela's democracy and Chavez's failed socialist experiment. The young guns of the left are not even in line with Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, who publicly said last week that Maduro's presidency was illegitimate.

The unprecedented crisis in Venezuela demands a critical re-evaluation—not a broad-strokes analysis from a dogmatic left that refuses to admit its mistakes and that ultimately cares more about its own agenda than the suffering of the Venezuelan people.

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304 responses to “America's Stubborn Left Clings to Nicolas Maduro Despite All Evidence

  1. Hey Jenipher, learn to code!

    BOOOOOOM

    1. Hey Crusty, learn to troll! (See below)

        1. He doesn’t give up though. I think he’s addicted to us.

            1. Makes sense.

          1. He wishes he knew how to quit you.

    2. First of all Jenipher, Juan Guaido did NOT “declare himself president”. He IS president according to the Venezuelan Constitution articles 233 and 333.

      He took the oath of office publicly, but in his official capacity as the president of the National Assembly, Venezuela’s democratically elected legislature, it is his duty and responsibility to serve as interim president of the Republic until free and fair elections can be held, and monitored internationally.

  2. So this is Libertarians for Interfering in the Internal Politics of a Sovereign Foreign Country, I gather.

    1. Tony is toxic masculinity with white privileges

    2. Tony is right in that regard (even though he never minded when the US and the EU toppled Ukraine’s democratically elected government and was appalled when Trump announced our withdrawal from our interference in Syria’s internal affairs). No doubt, as a progressive, Tony loves him some left-wing murderers (because “progress” or something), but the US should not be in the business of deciding who is the legitimate ruler of what country. And sanctions only hurt the people of Venezuela, not fat ass Mudaro.

      1. Ukraine’s coup was illegitimate according to their own constitution, and the conspirators never claimed otherwise.
        From what I understand, Venezuela’s legislature utilized a section of their constitution to declare Maduro’s election fraudulent and void.

        On the surface it seems more legit than Ukraine, thus our recognition of Venezuela’s interim president is less… problematic, but I don’t know for sure.

      2. Hillary stated in the presidential debates that she’d “consider” shooting down Russian jets over Syria.

      3. “but the US should not be in the business of deciding who is the legitimate ruler of what country. ”

        Kind of unavoidable, we have to decide who we conduct diplomatic relations with. While usually that choice is going to be obvious, if there’s an internal dispute in a country over who is the legitimate leader, we have to pick one.

      4. Left wing murders, abusive tyrants and duplicitous regimes are according to Progressives as morally superior. It is that simple.

    3. Ugh, Tony’s kinda right.

      There’s nothing wrong with recognising someone as the rightful leader of another country, but if it drifts into internal interference or “help”, then Hell No.

      1. Who’s arguing for interference?

        The American left is defending Maduro because they want to do what Chavez did.

        It isn’t about Venezuela. It’s about the USA.

        1. No they aren’t. Noam Chomsky is, and he’s not exactly in the political mainstream.

          You want to know who’s in the political mainstream? Ann Coulter. Clean your own fucking bed of its shitstains.

          1. Dude, there are sitting Democratic legislators defending that pig Madero. Some of them like Khana can justify their position by couching it in their historical opposition to foreign intervention, but the other ones are pro-war hawks. They’re defending Madero, because they’re monsters.

            1. The president of the United States is a Russian agent, so we all make mistakes.

              1. A Russian agent that is undermining a Russian ally? You realize you’re insane, of course?

                1. Oh so you believe the bullshit Trump ejects from his cheeseburger hole like how he’s the toughest president, probably ever, on Russia.

                  1. Are you so ignorant of your own socialist paradise that you didn’t realize that they’re allied with the Russians?

                    Tony is a good example of how progressivisim is derived from ignorance about the rest of the world more than anything else

                  2. “he’s the toughest president, probably ever, on Russia.”

                    And it’s an indisputable fact that Trump has been much harsher on Russia than any president since the end of the Cold War. We are sanctioning Russia and arming the Ukrainians, while putting missiles back in Eastern Europe (after Obama removed them).

                    He should be criticized for this provocation, rather than your bizarre conspiracy theory that has no evidence to support its insane premise.

                    1. So when he got his way in lifting sanctions on Deripaska against the will of most of Congress, that was what? Sound Russia-skeptical foreign policy?

                      Congress has been putting sanctions on Russia as best it can, but Trump is undermining them.

                      Not that it’s all that surprising that Trump would be unable to completely Powder Putin’s ass once the connections became widely known.

                    2. “Congress has been putting sanctions on Russia as best it can, but Trump is undermining them.”

                      I think you are more retarded than the last time I spoke with you.

                      Man, if only there was a way for a president to hinder sanctions. Gosh, that’s a real shortcoming of our system of government- the executive has no way to stop bills passed by Congress

              2. Jeezus on a flying biscuit, this Russia nonsense again. The same people who make the accusation want to push policies straight out of the Soviet Union.

                1. It’s the “respectable” man’s QAnon

                2. Part of their hatred for Russia is that it it not the Soviet Union anymore

              3. Russia is pro Maduro dumbfuck. Trump is anti. What dont you fucking get you dumbass?

                1. “He should be criticized for this provocation, rather than your bizarre conspiracy theory that has no evidence to support its insane premise.”

                  This.

                  Tony, I sincerely urge you to actually examine what Trump’s foreign policy is actually like. He takes advice from and carries out the advice from severe hawks like Bolton and (formerly) Mattis. We withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and are arming Ukranians for fucks sake. You want to believe the fever dream he is some Moscowian Candidate, go ahead, but his foreign policy is clearly quite anti-Russia which is demonstrated in act and also by really important government documents like the National Defense Strategy of 2018 (i.e. published under Trump) in which Russia is the SECOND COUNTRY NAMED as a threat.

                2. Russia is pro Maduro dumbfuck. Trump is anti. What dont you fucking get you dumbass?

                  *shrug*

                  It’s Tony. What do you expect?

          2. Nothing wrong with Ann Coulter you fucking chickenhawk commie.

            1. Even now that she’s turning on your boyfriend?

              She has many problems but mainly racism.

              1. You should go do something useful with your time for once, like suicide.

              2. rac?ism
                /?r??siz?m/
                noun
                An evidence-free allegation used by leftists who are cornered in a debate in which they cannot compete with honest argument substantiation.
                “a program to combat racism”
                synonyms: Conspiracy, Unicorns, Fantasies, Warmed-over Central Planning

              3. She isn’t a racist you lying piece of shit. You’re a racist though.

                Fuck off Tony.

                1. She’s not going to fuck you either, so find another hobby.

          3. “Ann Coulter. Clean your own fucking bed of its shitstains.”

            Hey fuckwit, this is a libertarian site.

            1. Sarc? The articles are dems, and the commenters are mostly Reps. Libertarians are few and far between here

              1. Hey fuckwit, this is a libertarian site.

                Stop bitching about literally everyone who disagrees with you being a Republican, this is a libertarian site. That you are too stupid and indoctrinated to admit that doesn’t change it.

                1. This barely recogizable as a libertarian website. Mostly Republitards and a few Dem trolls.

          4. Tony, here’s hoping you choke on your own socialist vomit.

      2. I’d really like to know how the left justifies sending the Marines to Haiti in 1994 to install Aristide.

        It all depends on whose ox is being gored

    4. Who said anything about interfering?

      1. A lot of people have called for it.

        However, I think that most of us can agree that that military interference will almost certainly mean even worse disaster. Maybe even a proxy war. Until Maduro starts mass murders (and maybe even afterward), invading will only solidify anyone on the fence behind him. Even then, it needs to be a South American flag, not a North American one, leading the charge.

        1. So that’s what we should do with all those old Confederate flags…

    5. Stop interfering with my communist interference. :'(

    6. This is libertarian hypocrisy on display.

    7. Actually more like Democrats and Republicans. The 1972 LP would not recognize the looter regime. But to Democrats, this is Tammany Hall electioneering to do Plunkitt proud. Maduro also does a good Nixon imitation with his fascist economic coercion. But the part that is most difficult to grasp is that Arbeiterpartei Socialists in Brazil have leapt to the defense of this tinpot looter. Venezuelan refugees have poured into Brazil and the locals grok the language pretty easily. Yet despite that, supporters of altruism at gunpoint claim to believe Maduro’s Hooverville-State is wonderful–yet none move a sneaker to emigrate there.

  3. It’s Donald Trump’s policies that are causing it to fail. Not socialism. Anything but socialism.

    1. Socialists have good intentions. They want everyone to be equal and to have free stuff. Good intentions cannot possibly have bad results. It’s just not possible. So someone else must be to blame. Like mean people with bad intentions. Trump is a mean person with bad intentions. It must be his fault.

      1. Whereas the libertarian overhaul of society is mostly bad intentions, and they don’t care who knows it.

        1. Libertarian overhaul of society… Letting people make their own decisions without having the will of others forced upon them. Oh, how terrible! Nobody being forced to do stuff against their will! People keeping their own money and spending it however they choose! The horror! The horror! Aaauuugghhh!

          1. Well I just want a society where everyone has opportunities to advance their livelihoods without worrying about acquiring basic needs.

            1. without worrying about acquiring basic needs

              Now define basic needs.

              1. Define “their own money,” “will of others,” and “force.”

                You’re looking for a special needs participation trophy for your beliefs. You want to change society much more than I do, and people like your ideas a lot less than they like mine.

                1. Define “their own money,” “will of others,” and “force.”

                  lol

                2. “You want to change society much more than I do, and people like your ideas a lot less than they like mine.”

                  The difference, you pathetic piece of shit, is that you want to do it with guns.
                  Fuck off, scumbag.

                  1. People getting their way with guns is like the only social interaction you people believe is legitimate.

                    1. Tony, people like you make the use of force necessary. You fucking slaver.

                3. “Define “their own money,” “will of others,” and “force.””

                  You’d think with your 250k in student loans you would have learned how stupid this makes you sound.

              2. Now define basic needs.

                Internet, healthcare, roads, Starbucks.

                1. Food, shelter, healthcare, education, law & order. You know, the fucking basics.

                  “But all I want to do is stick herring in my ears and run naked into Ted Talks! It’s the libertarian dream!”

                  So we won’t subsidize that. Win-win.

                  1. Beneath every hipster socialist is a cold blooded murder, because that’s socialism’s most consistently applied policy

                    1. Tony is a sociopath. This is why progressivism appeals to him. It has no morality and situational be,offs and ethics. Perfect for a boy raping degenerate slaver like him.

                  2. Food, shelter, healthcare, education, law & order. You know, the fucking basics.

                    Interesting that all the things you list are things you could provide for yourself if only your government let you.

                  3. You forgot cable TV, internet and tampons.

                    1. “You forgot cable TV, internet and tampons.”

                      Well of course those fall under education and healthcare. Duh!

                  4. Tony thinks freedom is forcing others to take care of him. Authoritarian shit head.

                  5. Food, shelter. health care, education, law and order. NONE of which are available to the vast majority of Venezuelans.

                    So what are they supposed to do? Vote? They have and their votes are meaningless in fraudulent elections. Protest? They have. For years and years and in the millions. The crowds of Venezuelans protesting January 23 dwarf any protest we have ever had in the US.

                  6. > Food, shelter, healthcare, education, law & order. You know, the fucking basics.

                    Anyone who is naive enough to believe it’ll end there doesn’t deserve to participate in an adult conversation. Control (not close) the borders and stop giving government handouts to non-citizens who haven’t paid into the system, then we’ll talk. Not before.

                2. And sexbots.

              3. Tony wants someone else (this is why they call it altruism) to stick a gun in someone else’s ribs (this second someone else being a third or outside party, as altruism requires) and force that victim to fork over whatever Tony needs to advance plus a little extra to cover ammo, labor and incidentals. Tony’s “own money” is the amount the man with the gun hands him for his basic needs, while force is the fingered initiation of a chemical reaction by the percussion cap in the gun, rendering the victim incapable of selfishly resisting Tony’s reasonable demand for cash. Most voters casting ballots for Hillary and Trump believe, like Tony, that this is just, reasonable and good.

            2. What you want — and you’ve admitted it before — is as much free shit as you can grab. You’ve stated that the more free stuff you can get the freer you feel.

              This bullshit about you wanting everyone to not worry about basic needs is a lie. You’re a self-centered parasite and you don’t give a crap about anyone but you.

              1. You’re a self-centered parasite and you don’t give a crap about anyone but you.

                Tony’s not a libertarian.

                1. He hates the idea of having to be productive and earn his way. He thinks the responsibility to survive is not his and is owed to him because he was born.

                  1. So you enjoy spending your entire sexual prime working to line some CEO’s pockets? That’s the best model of society you can come up with? Have some imagination, man.

                    1. Lining some CEO’s pockets? As opposed to having my labor appropriated by the government in order to line the pockets of people like you?

                      Incidentally, I line *no* CEO’s pockets. I’ve worked for myself my entire adult life.

                    2. I’ve started several of my own businesses. Shitbag slavers like you want to out endless obstacles in my way as an entrepreneur. This is why most people work for other people.

                      It’s you, as usual, YOU are the problem. Since you won’t change, best you drink your Drano. Best for all humanity.

                    3. > So you enjoy spending your entire sexual prime working to line some CEO’s pockets? That’s the best model of society you can come up with? Have some imagination, man

                      Jesus that’s a childish worldview. I work for a Fortune 500 company and report to the CIO. Yes, he’s wealthy, but it doesn’t affect me in the least. He’s a nice guy and a fantastic leader, which is ALL that matters. Nobody is going to want to travel constantly and be away from their family for the same salary and awards that their non-traveling direct reports are getting.

                      Accountability is the only way to make a lot of money. If you’re not the one they can beat up when something goes wrong in your area, you won’t get paid as well as the person who is…period.

                    4. good lord, tony, you’re a faggot piece of shit.

                2. *snort

                3. “Tony’s not a libertarian.”
                  He pretends to be a human.

              2. Unlike all the altruists among Rand-obsessed libertarians?

                Whether a mixed economy is going to exist is beyond debate. We have one and we’re already going to have one.

                What the public sector takes care of vs. the private sector is the essence of politics. You guys are just sitting at a politics-adjacent kiddie table making up stories about your Transformers and Barbie dolls.

                1. I’m sorry that the collapse of yet another socialist hell hole makes you look even dumber than before

                  1. I’m sorry that the collapse of yet another socialist hell hole makes you look even dumber than before

                    If Tony were in charge the right people would have been sent to the camps years ago, and Venezuela would now be a socialist paradise.

                    1. Literally every time socialists reflect on what went wrong, their answer is always “the right people weren’t killed”. It’s been like this since the fucking Paris Commune

                  2. “You’re a liberal so you must want the USA to be like Venezuela!”

                    As I said, the fucking kiddie table.

                    Come up with a real argument for once in your life.

                    1. Really? I’ve never called you a liberal. You’re a closet authoritarian obsessed with bossing people around. And taking their stuff. Individualism frightens you. As does, apparently, responsibility.

                    2. I don’t think he’s in the closet on any subject, authoritarian or otherwise.

                    3. Come up with a real argument for once in your life.

                      Get ’em, Tony!

                    4. Tony|1.28.19 @ 3:54PM|#
                      “As I said, the fucking kiddie table.”

                      As I said, busted on your bullshit again.
                      And the kiddie table is reserved for infantile scumbags like you who want the government to make sure you never have to take responsibility.

                2. Tony|1.28.19 @ 3:47PM|#
                  “What the public sector takes care of vs. the private sector is the essence of politics.”
                  No, it’s the difference between slavers like you and civilizedd people.

                  “You guys are just sitting at a politics-adjacent kiddie table making up stories about your Transformers and Barbie dolls.”
                  While you and yur murderous thug buddies figure out how many people have to die to satisfy your infantile fantasies of ‘mommy’.
                  Fuck off, slaver

                3. Tony for someone so weak, dull, amd banal, you are awfully arrogant and condescending.

                    1. About the only thing you succeed at you loser. You are for everything dark and evil in the world

                      ‘Kill yourself.

                    2. This lunatic has called for my death more times than I can count. Are there any standards on this message board?

            3. Slaves don’t have to worry about acquiring basic needs, do they?

              Fuck off.

              -jcr

              1. “Slaves don’t have to worry about acquiring basic needs, do they?”

                Um, yes?

                Also, just stop. The nightwachman state requires tax dollars and conscripted workers and restrictions on absolute individual freedom. Every single one of us who is not completely insane endorses a mixed economy. So stop with the slaver bullshit. Again, you’re seeking retard extra credit, and I’m not offering any.

                1. Tony|1.28.19 @ 3:56PM|#
                  “Also, just stop.”

                  Poor fucking imbecilic Tony, busted on his bullshit once more, claims *he* gets to define what can be discussed.
                  Fuck off, slaver.

                2. Tony, you don’t tell anyone to stop. We tell you to stop. M’kay?

                  You’re too much of a drooling progtard to be ordering anyone around.

            4. “Well I just want a society where everyone has opportunities to advance their livelihoods without worrying about acquiring basic needs.”

              We live in a society where the poor are fighting against an obesity epidemic.

              And that’s according to lefties like Michelle Obama!

              1. You think being fat is a boon to poor people?

                1. “You think being fat is a boon to poor people?”

                  Well they aren’t going hungry!

                  1. Obesity is rising in every single country that’s not starving, and not once has the trend been reversed. It’s not a sign of an economy that’s being too good to us.

                    1. Tony|1.28.19 @ 4:04PM|#
                      “Obesity is rising in every single country that’s not starving,…”

                      So not Venezuela, North Korea or Cuba, scumbag? The countries you wish to emulate?

                    2. Those must be the countries Ken wants to emulate, since he thinks poor people need to be starving.

                    3. Tony, you’re such a goddamn lying weasel. And impugning the decency of someone who is a far better person than you, like Ken (amd pretty much everyone else) is disgusting.

                    4. Tony|1.28.19 @ 4:04PM|#
                      “Obesity is rising in every single country that’s not starving,…”

                      So not Venezuela, North Korea or Cuba, scumbag? The countries you wish to emulate?

                      The wrong Top Men are in charge in those countries! Also, it’s all just lies concocted by the Kochs.

                    5. “Obesity is rising in every single country that’s not starving, and not once has the trend been reversed. It’s not a sign of an economy that’s being too good to us.”

                      If “the poor” are suffering from obesity (almost everywhere in the world?) then they aren’t suffering for lack of food. If that’s hard for you to understand, it’s because you don’t want to understand.

                      The poor are better cared for here than they are in Venezuela, that’s for sure–when the people there are so malnourished that 3 million had to flee the country. Your weird belief about Americans “worrying about acquiring basic needs” in a thread about Venezuela is skewered by the fact that obesity among the American “poor” is now a problem.

                      Your inability to understand simple facts and their obvious implications underscores your lack of intellectual honesty. Why would anyone take you seriously if you can’t even account for simple facts?

                    6. To be fair, those 6 million Americans streaming across the border into Canada last week for free Tim Horton’s coffee and health care are strong evidence he’s not completely full of shit.

                    7. At its basic, obesity is caused by too much input relative to calories burned. The most rational conclusion is that there is more food and more leisure available but people are not properly balancing diet and exercise.

                      How is that other than the market being good to people?

                    8. It’s more than just calories in/calories out. Generally obese people eat a lot of empty carbs, along with too much fat.

                      No one ever became obese overeating lean protein and leafy vegetable, without a lot of starch and fat being part of the equation.

                    9. It’s sure as fuck not rising in Venezuela. Why do you suppose that is.

                    10. The socialism diet. Where the weight drops until, well, you drop.

            5. Well I just want a society where everyone has opportunities to advance their livelihoods without worrying about acquiring basic needs.

              Wiping asses is a pretty basic need. You should start there. Wipe as many asses as you can as often as you can and see how much further and faster everyone advances their livelihoods thanks to your efforts. Maybe even wipe asses with one hand and advance your own livelihood with the other and see which one gets full first.

              1. If a capitalist tells you toilet paper is simply uneconomical to produce and a socialist tells you we’ll spend the money so that everyone has toilet paper, see how long you hang onto your principles.

                1. Tony|1.28.19 @ 3:59PM|#
                  “If a capitalist tells you toilet paper is simply uneconomical to produce and a socialist tells you we’ll spend the money so that everyone has toilet paper, see how long you hang onto your principles.”

                  Oh, goody! The fucking lefty ignoramus makes up a hypothetical, provides the oh, so imbecilic answer and hopes those who read that shit will confuse it with an actual argument.
                  Fuck off, slaver.

                2. You really are stupid. If a capitalist tells you toilet paper is simply uneconomical to produce and I think otherwise, I’m free to make and sell the fucking stuff myself. And become rich.

                  1. But providing healthcare to the elderly is uneconomical, which is the entire reason every civilized society on earth has invented government-subsidized healthcare for at least old people (and everyone else if you subtract America).

                    1. But providing healthcare to the elderly is uneconomical
                      Cite please.

                      Because facts (not that shit you make up every time you post) say the 65-74 age range holds the most wealth in this country.

                    2. You stupid fcvk, Socialized medicine is about DENYING healthcare to the elderly, based on cost and rationing. Old people who are free to pay for their own care without a panel deciding if it ‘necessary’ do not go without

                    3. Tony, dad paid in his whole life and is just now starting to really consume resources for healthcare. A loafer piece of shit like you thinks you should be provided for, and he should die.

                      I would torture you and rip your organs out for the cash to save him if it came down to it. As you are worthless, and he is not.

                      FYI, the torture would be for my own catharsis, and you deserve to suffer anyway. So much blood on your hands.

                  2. And Soviet block countries were notorious for not having toilet paper in the stores, or much of anything else.

                    It was a common trope in the 70s and 80s

                    They blamed it on us

                3. If a capitalist tells you toilet paper is simply uneconomical to produce and a socialist tells you we’ll spend the money so that everyone has toilet paper, see how long you hang onto your principles.

                  ‘member?

                4. Except toilet paper is one of the first products to disappear when socialism goes pear shaped.

                5. Tony your example is bullshit. If toilet paper is valuable enough, it will become economical to produce it for sale, or can be made so.

                  Of course, your example also betrays your fundamental lack of understanding of economics, and capitalism.

                6. There is no toilet paper in Venezuela. It’s the first thing to disappear under socialist regimes.
                  Cheaper to wipe yourself with the local currency or by a professional asswipe such as yourself.

                  1. Nobody is defending the regime in Venezuela. It’s precisely the same thing as accusing you people of supporting the regime in Somalia.

                    1. No, it’s not. Not even close.

                      That’s even dumber than yptje shit you usually say Tony.

                7. And somehow toilet paper is largely unavailable in Venezuela. Along with food, medicine, basic sanitation and not getting shot.

              2. Give a leftist a fish and he can eat. Teach a leftist to fish and he will complain you didn’t give him a fish.

            6. I would certainly find life to be a lot easier if I didn’t have to worry about rent, food, utilities, medical bills, etc. But if I don’t pay it, somebody else will have to. Who is this “somebody else”?

              1. The same people who already pay to police your streets, educate your children, fight in wars, build highways, and… you know this by now, surely.

                1. Bastiat must surely have had you in mind when he said “The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.”

                  1. I know some greater fictions.

                    1. Tony|1.28.19 @ 4:07PM|#
                      “I know some greater fictions.”
                      Yeah, you keep posting them, you pathetic piece of shit.

                2. So how much more in taxes do you wish to pay?

                  1. I don’t disclose my income so I can’t say exactly, but the answer is certainly more than I already do. You apparently can’t grasp the concept that taxes are not collected by the Treasury and thrown into a black hole (unless Republicans are in charge). We all gladly pool resources to get benefits that would be unattainable individually. Government is the means every human in every civilized place on earth does this on the largest scales. Some asshole just shat some brainworm into your face that says “government bad” over and over until it made you stupid.

                    1. I didn’t ask you to disclose anything about your income. Nice red herring.

                      I asked how much MORE in taxes do you wish to pay?

                    2. Tony if you’re willing to pay more in taxes, how much do you give to charity? Vegas says zero you lying shitstain.

                3. Tony|1.28.19 @ 4:03PM|#
                  “The same people who already pay to police your streets, educate your children, fight in wars, build highways, and… you know this by now, surely.”

                  So you have no idea.

                4. The same people who already pay to police your streets, educate your children, fight in wars, build highways, and… you know this by now, surely.

                  When money becomes meaningless because you’re not allowed to have any, what will motivate people to work for the good of others?

                  1. When money becomes meaningless because you’re not allowed to have any, what will motivate people to work for the good of others?

                    Pretty much the standard ways of the Socialist Worker’s Utopia: starve them, beat them with whips, torture their children in front of them, kill a few as an example to the others, etc.

                5. The Koch brothers?

              2. “Well I just want a society where everyone has opportunities to advance their livelihoods without worrying about acquiring basic needs.”

                Before the USA in the 20th century, was there ever a time in history when obesity was a problem among the poor?

                1. So your argument is that the people we define as poor are actually living a life of excess as evidenced by their waistlines?

                  This is a more complicated subject than you’re capable of dealing with.

                  1. The public pays for things the public can use.

                    If the tax payer pays your rent can any tax payer stay at your house for no extra charge?

                    Or should I say your parents house since I’m guessing that’s where you live.

                    1. Taxpayers do subsidize housing. And they subsidize food, for all of you who don’t seem to realize that.

                      And of course soulless right-wing assholes have demonized every aspect of these programs the whole time they’ve existed without offering realistic alternatives.

                    2. We all realize that Tony. There is a difference between supporting people in actual need and supporting people that can support themselves. You even take it a step further by thinking no one should have to support themselves.

                    3. Tony, a lying socialist shitweasel like you will label any alternative to govt. power as unrealistic.

                      Seriously, kill yourself.

                  2. “So your argument is that the people we define as poor are actually living a life of excess as evidenced by their waistlines?”

                    I’d say it’s ironic for you to comparing the U.S. unfavorably in terms of our ability to take care of people’s basic needs–in a thread about Venezuela, a place where malnutrition is the new standard and three million people fled because of a lack of food.

                    I’d say it’s ironic that the reason those three million people were starving and what used to be the middle class of Venezuela is suffering from malnutrition–to the point that Venezuelans have reportedly lost an average of more than 20 lbs. each*–is because the Venezuelan government enacted the same policies you want to implements under the auspices of helping the poor.

                    http://www.reuters.com/article…..SKCN1G52HA

                    I’d say it’s ironic, but “ironic” implies that it’s unexpected, and there isn’t anything unexpected about you being willfully obtuse.

                    Yeah, Venezuelans are dropping weight for lack of food while the poor in America are dealing with an obesity epidemic, and you think we should emulate the Venezuelans to help the poor?

                    Only you are willfully obtuse enough not to see the obvious implications of your stupid assertion. It’s defied by the facts in Venezuela. And you hyped your stupid assertion in a thread about Venezuela?! No wonder no one takes you seriously.

                  3. “This is a more complicated subject than you’re capable of dealing with”

                    People in the more socialist country are suffering from malnutrition to the point that its people are reportedly lost an average of 20 lbs.

                    Poor people in the more capitalist country are having problems with obesity.

                    Tony thinks that poor people doing worse in more socialist economies is “complicated” not only because he’s an ignoramus but also because he can’t reconcile simple facts with his preexisting biases.

              3. I would certainly find life to be a lot easier if I didn’t have to worry about rent, food, utilities, medical bills, etc. But if I don’t pay it, somebody else will have to. Who is this “somebody else”?

                Fat-cat millionaires and billionaires. We’ll take all their money away and they’ll keep working anyway. OR ELSE.

                1. I guess it’s sort of like Detroit.

                  Detroit is like the Venezuela of the USA.

                  1. But with rich corinthian upholstery.

            7. The average person apparently can’t have their own good intentions. Only government people on the left can have good intentions. Right, Tony?

              1. Government is the mechanism by which free people pool their resources in order to achieve large, expensive goals (ideally). Nothing more. If you want to bitch about not everyone agreeing about everything, try to get 10 people to agree on everything. You’d be asking too much, all the more so when it’s 300 million people. Just stop worrying, and stop being such a self-centered bitch.

                1. Do you really not see the irony of that last statement?

        2. Freedom is slavery.

      2. “My intentions are so pure I’m eager to wade in seas of blood to achieve them.”

      3. No, socialists are running a con. They want the marks to THINK they have good intentions.

        The results are always bad for everybody but the people running the con, because it IS a con.

  4. Orange man bad….communism good…

  5. Socialism is the only logical, reasonable, efficient way to run a country. The fact that it universally fails is always somebody else’s fault.

    1. Well, the problem is that Chavez died. If Chavez hadn’t died the system would have worked fine.

      It wouldn’t have been like Cuba, Cambodia, Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, the USSR, Estonia, China, or the others. This time it would have been different because Chavez was in charge.

    2. If the brakes and the steering go out on the bus, don’t waste time trying to fix them. All you need is a better bus driver! One that cares about people.

    3. It fails because it is not possible to “run a country”.

    4. Socialism is the only logical, reasonable, efficient way to ruin a country.

      It’s true.

      1. It’s proof that the paraphrase of Mencken is apt, even for economic systems on a nation-state level. :

        “There is always an easy solution to every human problem that is neat, plausible, and wrong.”

  6. viva la revolucion de la revolucion!

  7. Reps. Khanna and Omar suggest that American sanctions are largely to blame for the hyperinflation, food shortages, and other hallmarks of life in Venezuela today and imply that they’re merely opposing U.S. intervention in another country’s affairs. But no U.S.-backed coup has taken place in Venezuela. In fact, a coalition of Latin American nations, the Lima Group, has led the fight against Maduro and has specifically requested U.S. help.

    Big Bean is to blame!

  8. President Donald Trump’s full-fledged backing of Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president of Venezuela last week, was met with bipartisan support among American political leaders.

    It should be noted that Guiado is a Socialist. He isn’t a Right wing anything.

    1. He’s not right wing in the sense that Bolsonaro is right wing, but he’s not socialist in the sense that Chavez was socialist. Chavez and his successor regimes are full on Marxists.

  9. It’s stupid to blame the failure of Venezuelan socialism on the U.S. government. That said, the U.S. government should stay out of this mess. Do we really know that Guaido is any better than Maduro?

    1. Is it even possible for him to be any worse?

      1. At the risk of seeming cynical, yes.

    2. Enjoy Every Sandwich|1.28.19 @ 3:34PM|#

      It’s stupid to blame the failure of Venezuelan socialism on the U.S. government.

      **********

      In point of fact, it’s also stupid to blame the failure of the Venezuelan economy on socialism, since what they’ve had is old-fashioned kleptocracy. It COULD just be coincidence that first the Chavez family and later the Maduro family have become fabulously wealthy, the increase in family fortune coinciding with the time they were “Presidente”.

      Or said enrichment COULD be taken as proof that “every socialist government with enough power to enforce socialist policies will become a kleptocracy” because why not?

  10. Neither Omar nor Khanna seem to be bothered by that the fact that China and Russia are financially and politically propping up Maduro for their own strategic benefit.

    How cute. Thinking either are arguing in good faith. Omar is a bigoted moron.

  11. I’ve said it many times, and it needs repeating: there is no such thing as a socialist intellectual. Chomsky apparently made some contributions to the science of linguistics, but he remains a blithering idiot on pretty much any other topic.

    -jcr

    1. It’s surprising how much we can have in common with the Chomskys and anarchists of the world.

      Don’t we libertarian capitalists have even less in common with progressives?

      Socialist-Anarchists like Chomsky disagree with us about what we should do once the government gets so small that it’s hardly in the way anymore.

      Progressives don’t even want to shrink the government.

      1. I agree. It seems to me that progressives are the opposite of libertarians, rather than liberals or what you’d call Socialist Anarchists. The soul of progressives is that a certain class of noble, intelligent, and selfless people should decide what’s best for everyone and make sure everyone follows what is deemed best for everyone. It’s for their own good but they just don’t know it.

        1. That’s the way I define progessivism, too.

          It’s about using the coercive power of the state to force individuals to make sacrifices for what progressives believe is the common good–whether it’s to fight sexism and homophobia or obesity and climate change.

          1. And yet, in historical example after example…what that “certain class of noble, intelligent, and selfless people” ALWAYS get up to is kleptocracy, benefiting themselves, their cronies, henchmen, and intimates.

            Because when you have the power to enforce socialist policies, it’s pretty clear you also have the power to just steal all the shit. The fact is, that people swept to power by socialist enthusiasm have, in every instance, chosen the “less work, mo’ money” path to enriching themselves. And why not?

            Tony seems to think if we’ll just examine Twitter for those who have virtue-signaled most strenuously, we’ll be able to find Top. Men. to make THE RIGHT choices for a change.

    2. He’s reliably anti-war. Well, almost.

    3. If you read Tom Wolfe’s last book, and the “Don’t sleep, there are snakes” book, it isn’t clear that Chomsky’s contribution to linguistics will last either

  12. My Venezuelan friends tell me that most people in Venezuela love Trump and almost consider him to be a hero.

    However, my Venezuelan friends have long hated the Chavez/Maduro regime, so their perception is probably skewed. The signatories of the “open letter” are probably correct in observing that the country is polarized.

    In praising the Vatican for its peace overture “in the fall of 2016, that had potential, but … received no support from Washington”, do they really think that Trump should support a commie pope?

    If there’s any truth in what my Venezuelan friends say, this will be the first time in many years that any majority in any country in Latin America held a president in high esteem. Maybe Reagan in Nicaragua? Washington in Bolivar’s day?

    1. “However, my Venezuelan friends have long hated the Chavez/Maduro regime, so their perception is probably skewed.”

      The same support for populists has been cropping up all over the world, from Brexit and Trump being elected, Macron being elected, the Yellow Jacket explosion afterwards in France, from Merkel getting kicked to the curb at the behest of populists in Germany. Populism cropped up in Poland, Hungary, and the Philippines. Brazil has now gone populist a la Trump.

      I don’t see why Venezuela would be any different.

      1. Maduro and Chavez are (were) populists.

        1. They may have been popular at various points, but I wouldn’t call them populists.

          Chavez was like Castro. Do you think of Castro as a populist?

          I think of him as an authoritarian socialist.

          1. According to the T-Shirt industry, it was Che.

          2. I would call Chavez a populist, in that he made direct appeals to left-wing populistic shibboleths.

            “Alo, Presidente” was basically the TV equivalent of what Trump does on Twitter.

          3. How are you defining populist? Chavez is a classic Latin American populist politician. Him and Maduro are far more populist than Guaido and the opposition. Populism isn’t really a strict ideology so there are left-wing and right-wing variants. Being a populist and an authoritarian socialist aren’t mutually exclusive – it just involves justifying the authoritarian socialism on populist grounds.

          4. Chavez was a consummate populist. He was utterly charming and charismatic. People would have pictures of him in their houses next to Jesus and the Virgin.

            But he wasn’t ONLY a populist. He knew how to set up himself and his government to make sure they held on to power.

            1. Incidentally, populism is mostly about rallying average people against elitism. This is what Trump, Brexit, the Yellow Jackets, the movement in Germany, the Philippines, and Brazil are about.

              IF IF IF Chavez started out as a populist, that wasn’t the way it ended up.

              Chavez was an authoritarian socialist. Maduro has merely continued Chavez’s polices, and either or both would have maintained their positions with or without the support of the people against any kind of elite.

              1. Ken, you’re either extremely ignorant about this topic, or you’re willfully twisting things to fit your narrative contrary to all evidence.

                Chavez’s entire schtick, up until the day he died, was that the Venezuelan masses were getting screwed over by a rich elite (and the US/West) and that he was their man to step up and fight for them. He had a lot of appeal for a long time because there was some truth underneath the bluster – Venezuela before Chavez did have a lot of poverty and inequality created by centuries of corruption and exploitation. Of course, Chavez didn’t actually have viable solutions to that, he just meant different people being corrupt and a new form of exploitation that, as flawed as the previous status quo was, ended up creating a situation that is far more disastrous than how things were when Chavez took over. But none of that means Chavez wasn’t a populist.

                And he kept up that line up his entire time in office, and Maduro has continued it. Being populist and authoritarian socialist is not mutually exclusive. It doesn’t require that you maintain the support of most of the population (by that metric Trump isn’t a populist). Chavez and Maduro attacked elitism from the left, not the right as Trump and some of the others listed did, but that doesn’t disqualify them from being populists. You’re using an extremely idiosyncratic definition of the word if it doesn’t include Hugo Chavez.

              2. “Incidentally, populism is mostly about rallying average people against elitism. This is what Trump, Brexit, the Yellow Jackets, the movement in Germany, the Philippines, and Brazil are about.”

                This is a very good point. Because the populist groups/movements mentioned are FAR from uniform, except for the “average people against elitism” part.

                If ‘populism’ is defined that way, you could add “average people against the BAD average people” (Rwanda) and “average people against COLONIAL OPPRESSORS” (Zimbabwe) to the ‘populist’ tally. The problem is the targeting.

                A problematic populist movement occurs when it targets not some “elite”, but rather those who are successful in contributing to society enough to be amply rewarded. Of course, these are the same “haves” who are oppressing the “have nots”, and they are the people from whom the leaders of such movements tend to steal. Note that the people who become wealthy by making a greater contribution to society than ‘virtue-signalling on Twitter all day’ do not constitute an elite.

                Whereas, the good lefties in 2019 USA think making twitter safe from the 250,000,000 Nazis and alt-right sympathizers in the country should be a good paying job, and people who have a lot of money are failing to be inclusive of the marginalized “unsuccessful” peoples.

                #AOCin2032!

  13. You can agree that Chavez/Maduro has been a disaster for Venezuela without believing that taking sides in a civil war is a good idea. The socialist regime in Venezuela is a threat to that country, not the U.S. One can hope that Maduro is pushed out and replaced by someone competent by forces within Venezuela instead of pursuing a “muscular” foreign policy a la Hillary Clinton, which proved disastrous in both Libya and Ukraine. Try reading Daniel Larison in the American Conservative.

    1. “…One can hope that Maduro is pushed out and replaced by someone competent by forces within Venezuela instead of pursuing a “muscular” foreign policy a la Hillary Clinton, which proved disastrous in both Libya and Ukraine….”

      Try to keep up Alan. She lost 2+ years ago. No one is proposing any invasion.

      1. But she may be back.

        I hope she does throw her hat in the ring again with Warren and Harris. The bitch fight would be awesome.

        1. EST to track them all to their coffins right before sunrise and destroy them.

    2. Neither Libya nor Ukraine has ever had a tradition of democracy to refer to, unlike Venezuela. Neither has been a prosperous, educated country brought to its knees by a thuggish dictatorship as Venezuela has.

      If Venezuela was a right wing regime, support for a coup would be widespread among academics and the media. Who objected when Bill Clinton sent the Marines and installed Aristide over the military government in Haiti? Chomsky?

  14. Although the Democratic Party establishment has fully embraced Guaido

    That kind of contradicts the headline.

    Unless the Democratic Party establishment is considered centrist, that is.

  15. Pretty much a litmus test;
    Pro Maduro: brain-dead lefty scum.

  16. Like that old man in a leather jacket said: be better to socialists

  17. I would like for the media just once to ask Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, AOC….. “where do you think Venezuela went wrong?”

    1. If you’ve followed any of the comments in the lefty press over the last several weeks, you’d know the answer:
      “USA!”

      1. funny that is their answer to why any problem exists.

        1. Lefty Jeopardy. “What is USA?”

  18. If America is going to send troops to far-flung places, at least send them to a place where they can have a drink and see a hot prostitute.

    1. Send the troops to Paul’s moms house!

      1. I said a “hot” prostitute. Someone get this man some glasses.

    2. Why invade some far-flung place? The Bahamas could use a long invasion.

  19. insisting that U.S. sanctions are to blame for “worsening” Venezuela’s economic calamities.

    Yes, it’s annoying that the US puts sanctions on Venezuela, allowing the supporters of the regime to claim foul play. However, I would like to remind our stalwart Marxists and defenders of the proletariat that socialism is supposed to succeed in spite of capitalist interference.

    1. How they forget Chavez was seizing property of foreign governments doing work in Venezuela.

      Why would a country want to help you after that?

  20. “rejecting attempts by Venezuela’s opposition to remove Nicol?s Maduro from office and insisting that U.S. sanctions are to blame for “worsening” Venezuela’s economic calamities.”

    What does it say about socialism that in order for their regimes to survive they need to trade with the largest capitalist country?

    1. “rejecting attempts by Venezuela’s opposition to remove Nicol?s Maduro from office and insisting that U.S. sanctions are to blame for “worsening” Venezuela’s economic calamities.”

      Suddenly the left is all about removing sanctions from hostile regimes.

      1. No, they are all about opposing anything Trump says and does.

        I don’t see anyone on the left supporting removing sanctions from Russia.

        1. True. That’s what makes the Democrats mentioned in this article look like such fools (apart from Kahna). These leftists are not anti-war or anti-foreign intervention. They very much support sanctions against Russia and Saudi Arabia. They only oppose sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. They are just pro-Maduro and pro-Iran.

    2. Socialism is always parasitic on capitalism. If they ever succeeded in getting rid of capitalism, the result would be a dark age.

  21. They were clearly played. As Chomsky admitted in a 2017 interview, Chavez only haphazardly implemented socialism. Instead, his regime established a corrupt machine that would ultimately develop into just another kleptocracy.

    For such a “towering intellect”, Chomsky sure is a half wit.

    1. In the land of no wits, the half wit is king.

  22. There are a lot of gender studies departments that can’t even right now. Be better to progressives. Their fantasy of socialism has failed again, after failing last time, and the time before that, and the time before that…

  23. Khanna kahnna spelling inconsistent

    1. Wow. The same paper that pretended like Stalin’s gulags were a myth is suddenly opposed to starvation

  24. To be clear, supporting Maduro or downplaying the catastrophe he and Chavez have overseen in Venezuela is a fringe position.

    Someone hasn’t re calibrated their Fringe-Ometer lately.

  25. Not surprising that Turd World piece of trash Illhan Omar shot off her stupid mouth in the wrong direction.

  26. It’s all about the new commandments of the democrat party and the media. Thou shalt not speak evil or accurately regarding socialism.

    If accurate information were actually provided to the voters, nobody would vote for it.

  27. Socialism = me and my cohorts get to rule absolutely and steal all the money and power while sounding principled.

  28. I thought we were supposed to believe that only Russians meddled in elections.

  29. I cannot believe I am here defending Chomsky but that letter was not supportive of Maduro’s government. It even closes by stating that he should negotiate with the opposition to end this conflict . The main topic of the letter is condemning the idea that American politics should be influencing and interfering with Venezuelan government. This is a sentiment that every libertarian should support, not mock.

    1. I would have given Chomsky the benefit of the doubt six months ago, but the guy who got famous by criticizing the American Empire, opposed withdrawal from Syria for convoluted reasons that made no sense beyond “Orange Man Bad”.

  30. Opposing the US intervention does not mean support for Maduro or Venezuela’s socialism. The US intervention is wrong because other countries affairs are not any of Washington’s business.

    1. Opposing the US intervention does not mean support for Maduro or Venezuela’s socialism. The US intervention is wrong because other countries affairs are not any of Washington’s business.

      That sort of thinking is exactly the same as eating a Jesus-shaped gay cake in front of a burning American flag – with the North Korean national anthem playing in the background.

      The general tenor of the lumpencommentariat is telling: it’s indistinguishable from the sort of bilge one expects from Kristol, Friedman or Pipes. It’s a level of retarded exceptionalism indistinguishable from the cheer-squad for the late, unlamented Weekly Standard

      1. “That sort of thinking is exactly the same as eating a Jesus-shaped gay cake in front of a burning American flag – with the North Korean national anthem playing in the background.”
        Gee, how………..
        imbecilic.

        “The general tenor of the lumpencommentariat is telling: it’s indistinguishable from the sort of bilge one expects from Kristol, Friedman or Pipes. It’s a level of retarded exceptionalism indistinguishable from the cheer-squad for the late, unlamented Weekly Standard”
        As opposed to the steaming pile of crap you’ve posted?

  31. Looks like REASON has a neocon on staff now.

    1. So edgy.

  32. This is US meddling. That’s why it’s wrong.

    1. It’s not “meddling” to agree with most of the rest of the world and with the Venezuelan constitution.

      1. So if a foreign government removed Trump from office, that wouldn’t be meddling?

        1. Rob Misek|1.28.19 @ 4:54PM|#
          “So if a foreign government removed Trump from office, that wouldn’t be meddling?”

          So do you ever post anything that isn’t either dishonest or abysmally ignorant?

        2. Yes, but we haven’t removed Maduro. Not yet.

        3. This is more like, if Congress impeached and convicted Trump, would it be meddling if other countries recognized Pence as President?

          No, it wouldn’t be.

      2. Call me a cynic, but I reckon it’s a safe bet that you would not know what was in the Venezuelan Constitution if your life depended on it.

        By contrast, the Venezuelan Supreme Court – the people charged with determining the constitutionality of the actions of the government of Venezuela – validated Maduro’s actions and invalidated the US’s would-be puppet.

        So I guess in the new ‘Reason’ SJW/R2P/NPC calculus, that makes it an epistemic draw.

        The Cult of Exceptionalist Interference is attempting to anathemise the decisions of the Venezuelan Supreme Court because it was (they claim) ‘stacked’ with Maduro loyalists. Does that same logic apply when RBG finally retires and is replaced by an (R) loyalist, giving (R) a 5/4 ‘loaded court’?

        Or is SCOTUS another example of how systemically-biased institutions simply can’t exist in ‘Manifest-Destiny’ Disneyland?

        1. “By contrast, the Venezuelan Supreme Court – the people charged with determining the constitutionality of the actions of the government of Venezuela – validated Maduro’s actions and invalidated the US’s would-be puppet.”
          “Maduro’s Allies Stack Venezuela’s Supreme Court”
          […]
          “CARACAS?Venezuela’s lame-duck parliament on Wednesday rushed through 13 new Supreme Court justices, as President Nicol?s Maduro’s allies sought to block the agenda of the incoming, opposition-controlled National Assembly.”
          https://www.wsj.com/articles/maduro
          -s-allies-stack-venezuelas
          -supreme-court-1450912005
          YOUR tin-pot dictator packed the supreme court. So, no, “they” are not charged with that task.

          “So I guess in the new ‘Reason’ SJW/R2P/NPC calculus, that makes it an epistemic draw.”
          No, it means you don’t know what you are posting about, or you’re a liar

          “The Cult of Exceptionalist Interference is attempting to anathemise the decisions of the Venezuelan Supreme Court because it was (they claim) ‘stacked’ with Maduro loyalists.”
          See above; no claim, just fact

          “Does that same logic apply when RBG finally retires and is replaced by an (R) loyalist, giving (R) a 5/4 ‘loaded court’?”
          Sarc or stupidity?

          “Or is SCOTUS another example of how systemically-biased institutions simply can’t exist in ‘Manifest-Destiny’ Disneyland?”
          Was there supposedly a point in there, or just one more example of stupidity from a lefty imbecile.

          1. Orator is part of the ‘hate America first crowd’.

            1. Not sure where Kratoklastes came from; my guess a lefty lurker with a decent vocabulary who decided this was the time to make his/her idiocy clear.
              But any search of “maduro packs supreme court” pretty much shows Kratoklastes to be full of shit. And a shitbag Kratoklastes is.

      3. The Venezuelan constitution is none of Washington’s business either.

        1. Anti_Govt_Rebel|1.28.19 @ 5:26PM|#
          “The Venezuelan constitution is none of Washington’s business either.”
          Uh, OK. Did you have a point?

  33. Be nice to those dumb fucking freshman elected gashes or risk being called a meany!

  34. Tony is a moron. Chomsky is a godawful piece of shit excuse for a human being.

    1. Ad hominem attack don’t advance any argument, and using them shows weakness.

      1. PB?! It’s you. You’re back! In sock form!

  35. Don’t be so harsh on those lefties, they just can’t help it

    “Whut you goin’ to do when a [lefty] gits flirty
    And starts to talk purty? whut you goin’ to do?
    Whut you goin’ to do when he talks that way
    Spit in his eye?
    I’m jist a [socialist] who cain’t say no”

    http://perkurowski.blogspot.co…..tarts.html

  36. I love watching libertarians do mental gymnastics about use of force and violating the NAP. If free people democratically establish a monarchy, do you respect their decision? Are your principles more important than practical freedom for millions of people?

    1. If free people democratically establish a monarchy, do you respect their decision

      No, even if the vote was unanimous.

      Democracy is a shibboleth; there is no emergent collective right to coerce that results from an inaccurate aggregation of individual ordinal preferences. And it’s absolutely indefensible on ethical grounds, given that the median adult is incapable of properly evaluating the impact of their vote on their own lives (let alone on the lives of others).

      I would, however, support the right of ‘free people’ to subscribe to a monarchy offering its services as a subscription service in competition with the existing (coercive, monopolistic) political order.

      Religions are voluntary subscription services nowadays: they have no problem finding enough subscribers to enable their leaderships to have private-jet pissing contests.

      Why are States reluctant to move in the same direction? Simple: they know that they do not provide value for money.

      (Churches did not voluntarily move to a subscription model: they spent 15 centuries trying to maintain monopolies in their jurisdictions – until about 10% of the population started making noises about it and compulsory-monopoly religion was relegated to the dustbin of bad ideas. Likewise, States will not voluntarily move to a subscription model, any more than the average hookworm will voluntarily detach itself from your bowel).

      1. And what do you do if you don’t want to subscribe? You get to murder and rape with impunity, correct? You didn’t sign any stinking social contract.

      2. Kratoklastes|1.28.19 @ 5:30PM|#
        “If free people democratically establish a monarchy, do you respect their decision
        No, even if the vote was unanimous.”

        I’ll bet you thought you had a point there.
        Try explaining it in, oh, fifty words or less.

    2. *Are your principles more important than practical freedom for millions of people?*

      Yes. Particularly since establishing a monarchy would remove freedom from millions of people. Really a weak paradox.

    3. WITF are you babbling about? The only one using force are the leftist paramilitary armed by China/Russia and supporting Maduro

  37. *Are your principles more important than practical freedom for millions of people?*

    Yes. Particularly since establishing a monarchy would remove freedom from millions of people. Really a weak paradox.

  38. I especially enjoy the juxtaposition of the article highlighting the latest failure of socialism (and support for same by the Left) and the article explaining how the Left is and plans to attack the wealthy in America. Sweet.

  39. Let’s just say for a moment that socialism is a viable system of government. For it to be effective, you need

    1. Politicians, bureaucrats, and systems that are capable and reasonably efficient.

    2. Politicians and bureaucrats that are moral

    3. A significant portion (more than a simple majority) of the populace must place society’s overall good above the importance of individual freedom.

    Good luck with that. You are much more likely to be successful with a system that minimizes the impact should (or rather, when) #1 and #2 do not come to pass.

    1. Yep, fail on 1, 2 and 3.

  40. You guys should read letter AND the comments. These people are batshit insane.

    If Maduro was in the habit of incarcerating homosexuals these people would not be saying “stop interfering” if an opposition leader won the election, even under suspicious circumstances.

    It’s downright chilling how much legitimacy they afford to a sham government. “Oh Guiado can’t be president because he wasn’t sworn in” No kidding sherlock, he could have been sworn in yesterday at this backyard.

    Obama bombed parts of the middle east and the remnants of Al Qaida was able to mobilze as ISIS in the resulting power vacuum. No charges of “interference” then. But Trump resorts to his usual bluster on Venezuela and that’s apparently ratching up tension and division in Venezuela! If Donald Trump wasn’t president, children in NK would be well fed!

    Shut it down, shut it all down. Colleges should get funding for the barest essentials.

  41. Trump could’ve confounded the left by endorsing Maduro.

  42. Oh, hell, the Progressives haven’t even admitted that the Socialism of the USSR was a failure.

    1. Yeah they still blame Reagan and Thatcher for its downfall. The USSR collapsed under the dead weight of an ideology that flies in the face of human nature and willfully ignores price signals to the detriment of its citizenry.

  43. US sanctions have been used to hasten the fall of the Venezuelan state.

    It is known that Guaido colluded with the neocons before allowing himself to be sworn in.

    The appointment of Elliot Abrams as envoy to Venezuela is telling, not to mention destructive of all credibility that the US has the interests of Venezuelans at heart here.

    1. “is telling”

      Oh please.

  44. Liberals are supporting Maduro because Trump is against him. If Trump came out against Satan, Liberals would flock to Satanist churches.

  45. “Obviously, Maduro didn’t implement *true* socialism!”

  46. Hey Kratoklastes!
    Are you such a pathetic piece of shit you can’t tolerate being called on you bullshit?
    Or just a lefty ignoramus?

  47. This is such wearying BS. These are corrupt, fascist governments – and THAT’s why they failed. Has nothing to do with the boogeyman “socialism”.

    1. So its just coincidence that every socialist country winds up with a “corrupt, fascist government?”

      1. BINGO. Give the man a cigar.

    2. Socialism requires enabling a government with great authority. Corrupt politicians are attracted to that. Also corrupt politicians use “for the people” to get votes knowing the prize is great authority. The power they get with the authority is too easily abused.

      Power corrupts. Socialism requires power. Socialism corrupts.

      To prevent the corruption, do not enable government with such power.

    3. “This is such wearying BS. These are corrupt, fascist governments – and THAT’s why they failed. Has nothing to do with the boogeyman “socialism”.”

      I’ll bet you thought you were being clever with that bit of sophistry, didn’t you?
      Consider your bullshit called.

    4. In a corrupted environment, like we’ve had throughout history and today, a free market self corrects better than more centralized regulation.

      But corruption still leads to destruction.

      That’s why I’m a proponent of eliminating corruption. We have the technology with personal digital memory recording devices to capture and reproduce all corruption we perceive. We only need to recognize the human right to voluntarily protect ourselves by using it everywhere we are.

      That eliminates corruption, and the advantage of an unregulated free market.

      1. Rob Misek|1.29.19 @ 2:19PM|#
        “In a corrupted environment, like we’ve had throughout history and today, a free market self corrects better than more centralized regulation.
        But corruption still leads to destruction.
        That’s why I’m a proponent of eliminating corruption. We have the technology with personal digital memory recording devices to capture and reproduce all corruption we perceive. We only need to recognize the human right to voluntarily protect ourselves by using it everywhere we are.
        That eliminates corruption, and the advantage of an unregulated free market.”

        OK, I thought Rob was an imbecilic homophobe, and now it looks like s/he’s a contender for imbecilic troll along with OBL.

  48. It’s too bad Venezuela isn’t getting a proper right winger taking over like Brazil. That means they’ll probably still languish in their misery for years because he won’t roll back enough shit to get things jump started again.

  49. This is far different from the 1953 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala or the coup in Chile that helped install Augusto Pinochet in 1973, both of which were backed by the CIA to further U.S. political and economic interests.

    Yeah, very different. The Pinochet coup happened BEFORE Allende could do to Chile what Chavez did to Venezuela. Pinochet was a hero.

  50. Is this another disingenuous article title? The Chomsky letter is not “America’s stubborn left clings to Nicholas Maduro despite all evidence,” but is a critique of U.S. intervention in Venezuela. That’s a different issue, and one that libertarians, arguably, might embrace.

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  52. “America’s Stubborn Left Clings to Nicolas Maduro Despite All Evidence”
    You misspelled “stupid Left”

  53. After so many from Bernie Sanders to economist Joseph Stiglitz praised taking from the rich, the oil industry in Venezuela, to spend on the people they are unable to admit defeat.
    No instead of providing for the people the people have less than ever. Atlas Shrugged

  54. “Last year, Maduro was re-elected in what the U.S. called “a sham election,” which the European Union said was neither free nor fair.”

    The US? Half the people in the US believe Trump’s election was a Russian-perpetrated sham.

    The EU? Macron admits that the French people would vote to leave it if given a chance.

    Given that western powers have declared a US-‘educated’ but unelected person (Guaido) to be Venezuela’s president, and have given Guaido control of Venezuela’s assets in the US, and given that Guaido is (this morning) saying he will not rule out a military option (asking US troops to invade his country on his behalf), I’d say the author of this article has flipped her lid just by writing and Reason should be embarrassed for publishing it. Socialism in Venezuela is none of the US government’s business.

    Reason should be concened about socialism in the US. It will serve interventionists right if Venezuelans rally around their corrupt socialist government.

    1. Guaido IS an elected official. He was elected as president of the Venezuelan legislature, the Asemblea Nacional. Maduro’s “election” was illegal according to the Venezuelan Constitution and a sham according to the vast majority of Venezuelans and most other Latin American countries. Maduro is the usurper.

      The Supreme Court of Venezuela is not an independent body and in any case Marbury v Madison doesn’t mean squat in Venezuela. The concept of Judicial Review is from common law, which is not a part of Venezuela’s Constitution.

  55. I do think the Chavismo needs to go. They mishandled the economy for years, were reliant on the US and global finance markets, and in an import dominated country decided to antagonize their democratic institutions.

    But to pretend like the Trump sanctions haven’t been veritable a death knell to the country is absurd. We cut them off from global financial markets right after the drop in oil prices when they (stupidly) had only 22b in reserves. Toxification of VZ debt is the single biggest reason for the level of the crisis we’re in.

    Again, not that they didn’t deserve to go – not that they were good leaders, or even good socialists. They were awful people, who were bad at their jobs; another dictator surrounded by incompetent oligarchs.

    But we need to be clear about how incredibly effective our freezing of assets was on their economy, and their inability to refinance their debt burdens was catastrophic.

    1. “But we need to be clear about how incredibly effective our freezing of assets was on their economy, and their inability to refinance their debt burdens was catastrophic.”

      The sanctions were put in place AFTER Chavez had demolished the economy.

  56. There’s Good News Today

    “Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls.
    It tolls for thee.” -John Donne (1572-1631)

    Firstly, the bad news. Yes, so-called democratic socialism is tolling the death-knell for capitalism; democratic republicanism; and traditional, American ideals and values.

    Now, the good news. Yes, there is a cure for the pathology of socialism by whatever name it cloaks itself. What is that cure? Science. Specifically, the Science of Human Behavior. Contrary to the bleating of the 29 year-old Congresswoman from the Bronx, facts do matter. For a discussion, visit the following:

    http://www.nationonfire.com/20…..socialism/ .

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  58. Jenipher’s indefinite article in the first sentence is not needed.

  59. Socialism never fails.
    Just ask anyone from North Korea, Venezuela or Cuba.
    They’ll set you straight…if they’re still alive.

  60. The left thought a country with rich oil reserves could make socialism work. But once again the tax the rich and spend all the money on current consumption resulted in Atlas Shrugging big time.

  61. It has failed, certainly. But in all honesty, the question of whether Venezuela’s failure was helped substantially by American sanctions is one that needs to be examined carefully. I’d like to see a timeline comparing Venezuelan inflation rates to the imposition of U.S. sanctions to see whether there is a strong correlation between the two. I know that socialism generally leads to poor economic results, but Venezuela did seem to be doing OK for a number of years under Chavez.

    1. Dan S.|1.30.19 @ 10:41AM|#
      “It has failed, certainly. But in all honesty, the question of whether Venezuela’s failure was helped substantially by American sanctions is one that needs to be examined carefully.”
      Bullshit.

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  64. With Maduro’s dismal record and a nearly worldwide consensus against him, why are some on America’s left turning their fire on the United States instead?

    Because they are fucking psychopaths, and also hate America?

    Free Helicopter Rides! Ocean view.

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