Venezuelans, who live in the country with the greatest proven oil reserves on Earth, are queuing up in gas lines so long that some nap on the hoods of their cars as they wait. The two dozen Democrats running for president from a party that has become a socialist bloc should have to face tough questions over how this could possibly have happened.
Of course they won’t. Because the legacy media have nurtured, promoted, and plotted the Democratic Party’s socialist swing, while pretending that Venezuela’s collapse had nothing at all to do with socialism. So instead of sharp questions, Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose crackpot notions have been at the leading edge of the Democrats’ full socialist conversion, is publicly given campaign advice by NBC’s “Face the Nation” host Chuck Todd, who warned him that “the right’s going to basically hammer and sickle you to death.”
While Americans debate the elements socialism — a conversation that should not even be occurring in a nation based on liberty — Venezuelans hunger not only for food, many have an unmet need for gasoline. One unfortunate driver told the Associated Press that he “spent four days trying to get gasoline,” but was shut out.
The AP reported Sunday that a satellite last week “captured pictures of cars lined up for a mile through the city to the pumps,” in Maracaibo, the nation’s second-largest city.
“Some drivers said they’d had to wait almost 24 hours to fuel up, and people have been grabbing catnaps on the hoods of cars or in truck beds,” said the AP, which somehow was able to include these colorful details but couldn’t or wouldn’t blame the crisis on the socialist government that has wrecked Venezuela’s economy, not long ago the wealthiest nation in Latin America.
The oil and gas industry, which for decades powered the country’s economy, was looted to pay for socialist policies. Two years ago, when things weren’t even as poor as they are today, the New York Times said Venezuela “resembles a country hit by civil war.” But it, too, could not bring itself to write the words “socialism” or “socialist” to explain what happened.
To be fair, Chavez’s initial “policies were not particularly socialist,” writes Kristian Niemietz of the Foundation for Economic Education.
“But during his second term, the government started to intervene more aggressively in the economy,” says Niemietz.
It enacted price controls, targeted uncooperative industries, and decreed “revenge nationalizations,” which were “a disciplining tool to punish recalcitrant private sector actors.”
“The famed ‘Socialism of the 21st Century’ was actually an ad-hoc ‘revenge socialism,’ ” says Niemietz.
Chavez’s interventions eventually created “a hostile environment for investors and entrepreneurs in other sectors,” according to Niemietz.
But it’s been the oil-and-gas industry that’s suffered the most, beginning at the outset of the new millennium when Chavez “pushed through a new hydrocarbons law, significantly increasing the royalties private sector energy companies had to pay the government,” says Institute for Policy Innovation scholar Merrill Matthews. The result was the initial drop in production that continues today.
Rather than plunder America’s oil-and-gas sector as Chavez and Maduro have, today’s Democrats simply want to kill it. Of course, that will happen naturally if they take the country down the “democratic socialist” lane they are marching along. We won’t have gas lines because that sector will have been hammered and sickled to death.
— Written by J. Frank Bullitt
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