What is Christmas like in a Socialist country

venezuela-empty-shelves-getty-640x480

There are many in New Zealand who hanker for a hard socialist country, one where the state controls everything.

But what would Christmas look like in such a socialist country?

We don’t have to look far, Venezuela is the best example of a failed socialist paradise.

Years of socialist price controls and rock-bottom crude oil prices have left the nation of Venezuela with little money left to spend on presents, feasts, or even Christmas lights, as residents complain December feels like “any other month” after two years of President Nicolás Maduro.

“This year, Christmas is dead, there is not enough money,” Elise Belisario, a resident of the Caracas suburb Petare, tells Agence France-Presse (AFP). She notes there is no Christmas decor anywhere and people do not have enough money to buy presents. Some cannot even afford the basic goods needed to put together a traditional feast of roast pork and assorted sides.  

The website El Colombiano estimates that a full Christmas dinner costs between 2,000 and 3,000 bolívares, which is the equivalent of about one third of a monthly minimum wage. Individual basic food items can rack that price up significantly if especially scarce in any particularly neighborhood. For example, a woman selling eggs on the black market in Caracas tells AFP a box of 30 eggs costs 1,300 bolívars alone.

It is difficult to estimate how much these prices would translate to in dollars because the government insists on setting the value of its currency at a fixed rate most believe is intended to mask the nation’s hyperinflation problem, and is significantly higher than the real value of the bolívar on the black market. The Venezuelan website Dolar Today, which tracks the price of the bolívar on the black market, claims one American dollar is worth 841 bolívars today. This would make Venezuela’s minimum wage about $11 a month.

In addition to food items, non-necessary goods have seen a massive spike in prices. El Colombiano estimates the price of a Christmas tree to be up to 33,000 bolívars. A toy doll costs around 15,000 bolívars. “You either eat or you dress your children,” Lucía González, a vendor in Caracas, tells the publication.

The government’s take on Christmas celebrations has been significantly more muted this year than in 2014. Last year, Maduro debuted a “socialist Barbie” that almost bankrupted stores forced to sell it after the government forced the price down to a tenth of its value. Barbie was the latest in a series of goods – eggs, milk, flour, vegetable oil – to suffer a similar fate. Fixed price controls forced the government to issue ration cards for basic goods in 2014. That year, Maduro also used his time on television to condemn the anti-socialist opposition for being “grinches” trying to “steal Christmas” from the people by condemning said price controls and demanding an end to the violent oppression of dissidents.

In 2013, Maduro’s first year in office, the government released a Christmas carol praising Maduro titled “Knock Knock– Who Is It? People Of Peace, Lower Those Prices, Nicolás Is Here.

Sounds awesome…not!

Socialism has never worked anywhere…mostly because eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend.

 

– Breitbart


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

52%