Early in 2007, after winning a second six-year term as president, Hugo Chávez announced his plan to nationalize Venezuela’s largest telecommunications company, CANTV, hinting at wider nationalization plans to come.
“All that was privatized, let it be nationalized,” announced Chávez, who had run under the banner of democratic socialism.
Nearly a decade and a half later, on the brink of mass famine and a growing energy crisis, Venezuela is now moving in the opposite direction.
The lights went out on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro as he spoke to a group of reporters and government officials in Caracas.
Then they went out again.
He was busy explaining how the humanitarian aid that the opposition is planning to cross into Venezuela from Colombia is part of a macabre plan cooked up by Washington to intervene in the South American nation.
In the dark, Maduro asked his Electricity Minister Luis Motta Dominguez what was going on.
-Alex Vasquez and Daniel Cancel
Socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster. -Thomas Sowell
Incompetence, Oops, Economy, Socialism
Under-fire Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro admitted his economic model has "failed" in the wake of food and medicine shortages and public service paralysis, such as Tuesday's power failure that affected 80 percent of Caracas.
"The production models we've tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours," Maduro told his ruling PSUV party congress, as Venezuela looks to tackle chronic inflation the International Monetary Fund predicted would reach one million percent this year.
"Enough with the whining... we need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power," he added late Monday, with the country grappling with a four-year long recession.
"No more whining, I want solutions comrades!"
Government, Incompetence, Socialism
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has invented a 'rabbit plan' where he is encouraging residents to start viewing rabbits as protein instead of pets in order to tackle the country's food shortage.
Venezuela's crippling economic crisis means that eating meat is a luxury for many.
'For animal protein, which is such an important issue, a 'rabbit plan' has been approved because rabbits also breed like rabbits,' President Nicolas Maduro joked on state television, introducing the idea as a cheaper alternative to other sources of meat.
You do not ever want anything close to socialism. People are eating from trash cans in the streets, so how has socialism helped?"
Incompetence, Degeneracy, Socialism, Healthcare, Murder
Maternal and infant mortality have skyrocketed in Venezuela in the past 2 years, and diphtheria and malaria, diseases that were once controlled, are on the rise according to data released by the country’s Ministry of Health.
The epidemiological data show that maternal mortality rose by about 9% between 2014 and 2015, then jumped by nearly 66% by the end of 2016—-with 756 deaths. Infant mortality rose by about 30% between 2015 and 2016—-11,466 deaths in 2016—-according to government figures.
Prisoners are dying of hunger and disease inside a prison as horrific footage emerges of the men looking like concentration camp victims. In the video, smuggled out of the jail , the inmates film their frail bodies and that of a man who died just the day before.
Food and medicine has dried up in the Venezuelan prison as local police are reportedly blocking deliveries of supplies, including clean water. The footage has shocked many across the country and has left the inmates families calling on authorities to act, before any more die.
The Failure of Socialism...
The miseries, deprivations, and backwardness it has inflicted on populations wherever and whenever it has been tried are boundless.
They amount to the biggest empirical data set of political and economic failure in the history of humankind.
Socialist policies, moreover, are always going to fail because it is impossible for central planners efficiently to allocate capital, goods, and services across a large economy. Socialism, after all, was always a political doctrine and never a plausible economic theory.
Incompetence, Oops, Socialism
Last month 20 Venezuelans were arrested as they were trying to sneak into Curaçao, the island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, using a small boat — just like Cubans rafters do to make their way to Florida.
According to a Datin Corp poll released last week, 57 percent of Venezuelan registered voters want to leave the country. This means that approximately 12 million people want out, almost half of the 30 million who populate the country if we take out children and teens.
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Socialism, Regulation
Bogota (AFP) - Venezuela's economic crisis has sent a huge but largely ignored wave of people into Colombia, and many more could be on the way, a senior UN refugee official said. "It's a silent arrival of a lot of people who are crossing the border and staying illegally on the Colombian side," said Martin Gottwald, the United Nations Refugee Agency's representative in Colombia.
Venezuelans are also sneaking across the border even when it is closed, driven abroad by the economic crisis, violent crime and a health care system teetering on the brink of collapse.
Government, Incompetence, Threats, Oops, Economy, Socialism, Law, Regulation
President Nicolas Maduro threatened Saturday to take over idle factories and jail their owners following a decree granting him expanded powers to act in the face of a deep economic crisis... Speaking to supporters in the capital, Caracas, the president ordered “all actions to recover the production apparatus, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie.” He also said that businesspeople who “sabotage the country” by halting production at their plants risk being “put in handcuffs.”
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Fear, Socialism, Regulation
Despite breathless coverage of Venezuela's vanishing supply of condoms, toilet paper, and beer, perhaps the country's most debilitating shortage has been that of food, which appears to be a motivating factor for growing antigovernment sentiment. "I want the recall because I don't have food," one woman told the Venezuelan commentary site Contrapunto, referring to a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro that has so far reportedly drawn more than a million signatures in support. "We want out of this agony — there is too much need in the streets," another woman told Contrapunto. "We have much pressure because there is no food and every day we have to ask ourselves what we are going to eat."
Despite having more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, and in fact more proven oil reserves than any country in the world (8 times more than the US), oil-rich Venezuela’s economy is imploding and collapsing under the burden of socialism... -Mark J. Perry
Government, Incompetence, Oops, Economy, Socialism, Theft
The situation in Venezuela has become so bad that even soldiers are struggling to support themselves. Over the weekend, six members of the Venezuelan military were detained by local authorities for stealing goats, the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional reported Sunday. It said the soldiers confessed to stealing the goats and said they did it to feed themselves, since they had no food left in their barracks.
Socialists: A Century of Murder
The socialist countries killed a couple hundred million of their own citizens during the 20th century - Soviet Union (62 million), communist China (78 million), and the national socialists, aka Nazis, in Germany (21 million).
“Socialism is an alternative to capitalism as potassium cyanide is an alternative to water.”
Government, Incompetence, Funny, Socialism, Sexism
The President of Venezuela has urged women to stop using hairdryers and offered alternative styling tips as the country’s energy crisis continues... 'I think a woman looks better when she runs her fingers through her hair and lets it dry naturally,' Nicolas Maduro said... Caracas occasionally shuts down because of citywide losses of power and some rural areas are living mostly in the dark.
The pattern is always the same. Socialists take power somewhere. Middle-class leftists rhapsodise about their achievements. Then the regime leads to poverty and tyranny.
At which point, the Western leftists say that it was never properly socialist in the first place and move on to their next Third World pin-up.
Liberal, Government, Narrative, Economy
In the empirical analysis, for a panel of 108 countries from 1970-2008, we use different proxies for government size and institutional quality. Our results, consistent with the presented growth model, show a negative effect of the size of government on growth. Similarly, institutional quality has a positive impact on real growth, and government consumption is consistently detrimental to growth.
Editorial, Oops, Economy, Socialism
Things did not work as planned, however. Structuring a community along rational lines was extremely difficult. There weren’t enough skilled laborers. Many of the residents were lazy. Shortages were commonplace. Central planning hampered the efficient allocation of meals. Factions split off from the main group. The community closely monitored the activities and beliefs of every member. Alcohol was banned. Children were separated from their parents; one later said she saw her “father and mother twice in two years.” Owen expelled malcontents. Only his generous subsidies held New Harmony together. And not for long. Owen’s “new empire of peace and good will to man” fell apart within four years.